Message from leadership to students - Jan. 31, 2022

Updates to VCU student COVID-19 policies

VCU students,

At the end of our fall semester, more than 97 percent of faculty and staff and more than 95 percent of students were vaccinated. This high rate of vaccination clearly contributed to a safe and successful semester.  

As in the past, masks will be required indoors this semester throughout the university and health system facilities. Masks are also required at outdoor events with more than 50 people. 

VCU recommends at least double-layer masks and has added to its supply of KN95 and three-layer 100 percent cotton masks and hand sanitizer in campus vending machines. These supplies are available to students and employees at no cost. You can find vending machine locations and supply information here.

Our high vaccination rates and ongoing mitigation efforts – combined with the recent legal opinion from the Attorney General for the Commonwealth that COVID-19 vaccines cannot be required for students – has led VCU to end requiring student vaccinations and boosters for the spring semester. 

Because of federal requirements, students who are currently or periodically in hospital, clinical or other health care settings will need to follow the requirements of their placement site and should work with their program director if they have questions.

For students not in those settings, the Feb. 1 deadline to report booster vaccine status is also no longer required. COVID-19 vaccine holds on student accounts will be removed and surveillance testing for non-vaccinated students will end. 

Testing remains available at no cost to VCU students and employees. Students and employees with symptoms should contact 1-804-MYCOVID (1.804.692.6843) for symptomatic testing referrals. At-will testing is also available by appointment for those without symptoms.

Please visit our Better Together website for more information, including what to do if you have symptoms or exposure. The website will be updated in the coming days to reflect these changes. For specific questions, please email together@vcu.edu.

With the concurrence of our Public Health Response Team, VCU continues  to urge students and all other members of its community to be vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. Unvaccinated individuals are more likely to become infected and much more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 than those who are vaccinated and boosted.  

Receiving a booster dose further strengthens immunity and therefore provides an added margin of protection beyond that provided by basic vaccination.  

VCU is committed to supporting the health of our patients, students, employees and the communities we are proud to serve.  

Sincerely,

Fotis Sotiropoulos, Ph.D.
Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs

Art Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H.
Senior vice president for health sciences at VCU and CEO of VCU Health System

Meredith L. Weiss, Ph.D.
Vice president for administration