From President Tim Sands: Changes in vaccine mandate, plans for successful semester
To the university community,
I’d like to provide a brief update regarding management of COVID-19 in our university community.
Last week, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares issued a legal opinion concerning vaccine requirements that reverses the preceding attorney general’s opinion upon which our vaccine policy was based. Consequently, Virginia Tech will no longer require students to be vaccinated as a condition of enrollment or in-person instruction, effective immediately. Federal regulations may still require students who work in specific settings to be vaccinated, receive the booster when eligible, and upload their health information.
We continue to encourage everyone in our community to be vaccinated, get a booster dose as soon as you’re eligible, and report any updates to your vaccination status to the university. Vaccines remain our best protection against COVID-19 and boosters are an important tool in combatting the omicron variant. Masking and public health protocols remain fully in place. We will discontinue mandatory testing for students, but will continue to provide voluntary testing and strongly encourage testing if you are symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID-19. Students should coordinate with Schiffert Health Center for testing. Employees should work with their local health care provider or the Virginia Department of Health. Further updates will be shared on the Ready site and through the Virginia Tech Daily Email. We encourage students to report information through VT Notify.
We are fortunate that our university community has a very high percentage of vaccinated faculty, staff, and students, which positions us well to maintain operations through the semester. Thank you for doing your part to keep our campus healthy. With cases likely peaking in the local New River Valley health district, I hope that we will be able to continue to keep serious illness in check and emerge from this current surge in a matter of weeks.
As we approach two years of the pandemic, we have made great progress on a full return to campus, and I am proud of how far we’ve come together. I also understand that managing the impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives has taken a toll on everyone. Your physical and mental health is an important part of your learning experience and academic success. Please continue to take care of yourself and each other and utilize the resources available to you as we navigate the weeks ahead.
Let’s go, Hokies!