Virginia Tech will require all students to be fully vaccinated by the start of the fall semester. There is no similar requirement for faculty and staff, but they are “strongly encouraged” to receive vaccines. Current plans call for an end to masking and social distancing requirements at VT when classes resume in late August.
FROM VIRGINIA TECH: Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published its Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education, advising that complete elimination of masking and distancing requirements for everyone would be advisable only if everyone is fully vaccinated. Our own data support this conclusion. The high population density in residence halls, off-campus housing, and classrooms — combined with the mobility of students — presents challenges not seen in other settings. Understanding that there will always be those in our community who should not be vaccinated, we must take care to limit exceptions and to ensure that those who are not vaccinated are able to participate in the Virginia Tech experience without fear for their personal health safety. This combination of CDC guidance and Virginia Tech’s own experience over the past three semesters has informed the following decisions regarding vaccinations.
Vaccinations will be required for all students attending Virginia Tech in the fall, with exemptions for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs. During the past two semesters, we weathered significant surges in COVID-19 cases in Blacksburg. We did this through robust testing, self-quarantine, masking, and physical distancing. We must do everything possible to avoid repeating the challenges of the last 14 months, and to ensure that students who cannot be vaccinated are able to participate in campus life and in-person learning. It is essential that every student who can be vaccinated, is vaccinated.
Students should visit this site for more information about vaccination requirements, confirming vaccination status, and requesting an exemption. The deadline for students to report that they have received the full course of vaccine doses (one or two, depending on the vaccine) is Aug. 6, 2021.
Virginia Tech employees are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. The need and frequency of testing for unvaccinated employees will be determined based on the risk an individual’s position presents to the community. In an employee survey last semester, nearly 90 percent of respondents reported being vaccinated. This response and the low prevalence of infection for employees in high-contact roles throughout the most recent semester give us confidence that the risk to and from employees will be relatively low and manageable if nearly everyone is vaccinated. The deadline for reporting the completion of the full course of vaccination doses is Aug. 15. More information about confirming vaccination status and requesting exceptions can be found here.