Public health measures

We each have roles and responsibilities to promote safety in our learning, work and living environments. This page highlights the resources provided as well as the measures in place to keep the VCU community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Need a vaccine?

With the concurrence of our Public Health Response Team, VCU strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination and boosters. Unvaccinated individuals are more likely to become infected and hospitalized compared to those who are vaccinated. VCU continues to offer a number of on-campus vaccination opportunities by appointment. 

Students: Make an appointment online through University Student Health Services.
Employees: Call VCU Employee Health at (804) 828-0584 to schedule an appointment.

To search all vaccination opportunities near you, visit vaccines.gov.

Need a test?

VCU offers COVID-19 testing on campus for students and employees. Symptomatic testing is for when you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. At-will testing is for when you are not experiencing symptoms but need to be tested for any reason. Learn more about how to be referred for symptomatic testing or how to make an at-will appointment here.

Operational decisions

How will VCU decide whether to close campus should an outbreak of COVID-19 occur? The university will look at a number of factors when making such decisions. In the event of an outbreak, closure of the university would likely take a phased approach or could result in a partial campus closure, depending on the number of community members affected. Learn more about the factors driving operational decisions, as well as the Public Health Response Team's role in making such decisions.

Reporting symptoms, exposure and test results

Testing

Testing plays an essential role in VCU’s COVID-19 response. Learn more about testing options and procedures.

Face coverings

As of March 21, 2022, masking is voluntary indoors and outdoors on campus, with the exception of classrooms, clinical settings, and health system facilities. VCU’s Public Health Response Team continues to strongly encourage masking for individuals at risk for severe COVID-19 infection. Community members who wish to wear masks are also encouraged to do so — we must all continue to treat one another with kindness and respect. 

VCU continues to provide access to KN95 and cloth masks at no cost to students and employees.

Events and gatherings

There are no longer physical distancing requirements, density restrictions or masking requirements at events. 

Resources to help you stay safe

Supplies

VCU Facilities Management provides disinfectant supplies, including hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray stations, throughout campus based on supply.

Students and employees can use their VCU ID to obtain hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and face coverings at no cost from vending machines located throughout campus. Individuals are allotted one swipe per item per month (i.e., one of each item can be obtained each month).

Monroe Park Campus vending machine locations:

  • Bowe Street Parking Deck, 1st floor, elevator lobby
  • Snead Hall, East Hall, center lobby across from the security desk
  • T. Edward Temple Building, auditorium wing across from the atrium entrance, between Rooms 1160 and 1165
  • James Branch Cabell Library, 1st floor, center of building, near the printers
  • Student Commons, 1st floor, near Suite 104

MCV Campus vending machine locations:

  • Larrick Student Center, right of Starbucks
  • Health Sciences Library, 1st floor, left of the main entrance, near the elevators
  • VCU Health Sciences Research Building and Annex, 1st floor, lobby
  • McGlothlin Medical Education Center, 1st floor, across from the elevators
  • Hunton Student Center, 1st floor, right of the information desk

Travel

Personal travel

Student and employee travelers should refer to the CDC and U.S. Department of State to be fully informed of potential health risks in their destinations and the most up-to-date travel restrictions and requirements, such as testing and masking, that may be in place. Student and employee international travelers should continually check the latest travel advisories before and during their travels.

University-sanctioned travel

Definition of “university-sanctioned international travel”: University-sanctioned international travel is defined as any travel activities outside the United States of America or its territories engaged in by students, employees, and/or community members (whose travel is funded by VCU) related to the individual’s position or role at the university, regardless of the source of funds. This includes, but is not limited to, travel related to instruction, research, or business such as conferences, presentations, recruiting, site/program assessment or development, credit-bearing or non-credit bearing education abroad, internships, service-learning, volunteer or work programs, fellowships, athletics events, field studies, or professional development activities. This does not include travel activities engaged in by students or employees in a personal capacity such as personal vacations and personal travel; individual travel that has no affiliation with VCU is not monitored by the university.

Definition of "essential travel": Essential travel is defined as supporting activities that are necessary for work (for employees) and must be done in person. Essential travel may include research, teaching, study/education abroad, and other activities of immediate importance to the university’s mission. Members of the VCU community are encouraged to limit personal travel. We encourage students and employees to frequently refer to the CDC and U.S. Department of State to be fully informed of potential health risks and the most up-to-date travel requirements and restrictions that may be in place.

Definition of "domestic travel": University-sanctioned domestic travel is defined as any travel activities within the United States of America or its territories engaged in by VCU students, employees, and/or community members related to the individual’s position or role at the university, regardless of the source of funds.

Student international travel update: For the current status of student international travel and VCU’s study abroad offering, refer to the “Student International Travel Planning” heading on the Students section of this site.

Travel to Level 1 or 2 countries: University-sanctioned international travel is permitted for faculty, staff, and students to U.S. Department of State Level 1 or 2 countries without need to petition VCU’s International Travel Advisory Committee. Employees are reminded to coordinate travel through their department and VCU Procurement, and students must coordinate international travel plans through the Global Education Office (GEO).

Travel to Level 3 or 4 countries: University-sanctioned international travel to U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 countries is prohibited. An exception to this travel prohibition for essential purposes will be considered by petition to VCU's International Travel Advisory Committee (ITAC); ITAC will make the final decision. Petitions to Level 4 destinations that contain “do not travel” risk indicators other than COVID-19 will not be considered. Employees should not complete the travel pre-approval process in ChromeRiver until ITAC has made a final decision. This petition process does not replace fiscal/administrative levels of approval for travel, and exists for review of an exception to the travel prohibition only. Student petitions may be completed here and employee petitions can be found here. Petition questions can be directed to itac@vcu.edu.

International Travel Advisory Committee: The International Travel Advisory Committee has been established for the purpose of reviewing petitions for an exception to current restrictions on university-sanctioned travel.  ITAC develops and implements the petition and petition review processes and makes recommendations for international travel policies for university employees and students from a risk management and safety standpoint. The purpose of the ITAC review process is to provide a holistic assessment of the risk of travel for the individual petitioner going to the specific destination for the particular purpose indicated. For more information about ITAC, please visit the ITAC website at global.vcu.edu/itac.

Travel, variants and vaccines: Per CDC guidelines, individuals who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should refrain from all university-sanctioned international travel, including, but not limited to, study abroad and international exchange programs. VCU strongly recommends that travelers delay international travel until they are fully vaccinated. Per CDC guidelines for international travel, fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19; however, international travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants. VCU encourages but does not require full vaccination. Travelers may be subject to requirements imposed by non-VCU entities, including vaccination requirements, where applicable. Follow the CDC’s current recommendations for unvaccinated travelers regarding pre- and post-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine.

Domestic travel: University-sanctioned domestic travel is permitted in accordance with CDC guidelines, which call for individuals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they travel. In addition, the CDC currently recommends that unvaccinated travelers undergo pre- and post-travel COVID-19 testing and observe a 7-10 day quarantine. Travel review and approval will continue through existing channels. 

VCUArts Qatar students, employees, and/or community members (whose travel is funded by VCU): Travel within Qatar is considered domestic travel for the purpose of ITAC petitions. Travel across international borders would be subject to review by ITAC, but not travel within Qatar or to the U.S.

Travel to VCUArts Qatar: Travel to VCUArts Qatar does not require a petition to ITAC.  

Transportation: Riding GRTC

Students and employees can continue to utilize GRTC for essential travel. GRTC has taken additional safety measures to help ensure the well-being of drivers and passengers during COVID-19. Some of their most recent safety efforts include: implementing enhanced daily bus cleaning procedures, installing sanitizer dispensers on all vehicles, redistributing buses from low-ridership routes to high-ridership local routes to help promote physical distancing, disinfecting high-traffic areas periodically with Steriphene aerosol disinfectant and encouraging more frequent staff testing.

As of April 19, 2022, masks are optional on GRTC buses. GRTC encourages passengers to wear a mask to their comfort level. Passengers with symptoms of illness are asked not to ride. You can learn more about how GRTC is responding to COVID-19 at ridegrtc.com/news-initiatives/news-updates/grtc-and-covid-19-coronavirus.