Message from leadership to faculty and staff - Feb. 1, 2022

Updates to VCU student COVID-19 policies

Dear faculty and staff,

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.  

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. 

We shared this with students yesterday and want to share it with you today.

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. 

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.

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.

With the concurrence of our Public Health Response Team, VCU continues  to urge the VCU 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.  

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