VCU Together Update for students - Sept. 25

Replacement supply kits, testing options, clarifying rumors, study abroad and more

Our priorities are the health, safety and wellness — both physical and emotional — of every member of the VCU community. VCU continues to monitor, assess and address situations as they arise. This weekly update will be a resource to help keep you informed as details become available. All updates are available at together.vcu.edu. Receive notifications by downloading VCU Mobile from your iOS or Android app store.

Replacement supply kits

Starting the week of Sept. 28, VCU students and employees can use their VCU ID to obtain a replacement supply kit, while supplies last. Each kit includes launderable face masks, disinfectant spray, hand sanitizer and information about safety protocols. Kits can be obtained at service desks at the following locations:

  • Cary Street Gym
  • Hunton Student Center
  • Larrick Student Center
  • University Student Commons

Please recycle empty hand sanitizer and disinfectant bottles in recycling bins provided throughout campus.

Understand your testing options

In addition to promoting healthy behaviors, such as wearing a mask and physical distancing, VCU’s current health and safety protocols include testing VCU community members with symptoms (symptomatic testing) as well as a percentage of those without symptoms (asymptomatic testing). Please visit together.vcu.edu/protocols/testing/ for details about all aspects of VCU’s testing strategy and how you can participate in asymptomatic testing.

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, call 1-804-MYCOVID or 1-804-692-6843 to connect with Student Health Services or Employee Health Services. To receive a COVID-19 test from VCU, you must be referred by either Student Health Services or Employee Health Services.

Latest travel advisory

Students and employees returning to the VCU campus and surrounding community from destinations abroad with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Levels 2 and 3 Travel Health Notices or from areas in the U.S. experiencing high levels of COVID-19 should take precautions consistent with the CDC’s guidance to protect others from getting sick.

In addition, for 14 days after traveling, these individuals should stay home as much as possible, avoid being around people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and consider getting tested for COVID-19.

Students residing in VCU residence halls should contact University Student Health Services and refer to the Residential Life and Housing website for additional self-quarantine and isolation requirements.

Amendments to university-sponsored travel guidelines

Guidelines regarding university-sponsored travel for students, faculty and staff have been slightly amended. Travel remains suspended with some exceptions for travel to U.S. Department of State Level 1 or 2 countries. Exceptions require leadership approval. For details, see the university-sponsored travel drop-down on the students and faculty/staff pages at together.vcu.edu.

Study abroad programs canceled through May 2021

Due to the continued uncertainty of the global COVID-19 pandemic, VCU has decided to cancel all study abroad programs through May 2021. This includes spring 2021 and spring break 2021 programs, and applies to all study abroad types including, but not limited to, exchanges, direct-enroll, third-party provider programs and independent study.

This recommendation is made in light of VCU’s current suspension of study abroad programs and the recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends that institutions of higher education consider postponing or canceling upcoming student international travel programs due to the possibility of students facing unpredictable circumstances, such as travel restrictions, challenges returning home and challenges accessing health care while abroad.

We will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC, U.S. Department of State and Virginia Department of Health, as well as the destinations’ offices of foreign affairs and ministries of health to make recommendations regarding summer 2021 programs. In the meantime, students are encouraged to visit the Keep on Studying Abroad website for ways they can maintain momentum in planning their study abroad experience.

New COVID-19 Rumor Mill

With so much information out there, it can be difficult to discern what is rumor and what is fact. Submit a rumor and have VCU medical and public health experts clarify the rumor with facts. Visit https://together.vcu.edu/rumors/.