Important COVID-19 Update on Student Vaccine Requirement
January 31, 2022
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
Late last week, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares issued a legal opinion that public universities cannot mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for students. With this recent state-level action, Old Dominion University can no longer require the vaccine for students to enroll and/or take classes. As a result, the current vaccine requirement for students is no longer in place effective immediately and now aligns with the recently-updated practice for faculty and staff following Governor Youngkin's recent executive directive.
Revision to Vaccine Requirement
Students are no longer required to be fully vaccinated; however, the vaccine, including a booster, is strongly encouraged to maintain a healthy campus. Students who receive a booster should submit documentation in the Monarch Wellness Portal.
Weekly testing for non-vaccinated students is no longer required.
Continuation of Masking Requirement
The University continues to require masking in all indoor facilities. Several locations have been set-up across campus to ensure the availability of disposable masks, as well as KN95 masks, as needed. All Monarchs should continue to exercise personal responsibility by being proactive and diligent with mask wearing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As a reminder, we are asking all Monarchs who are not feeling well to stay home. Also, due to the current testing shortage, both regionally and nationally, please continue to be good stewards of our testing supplies by testing only if you are symptomatic; had exposure (please wait five days after exposure to test and do not test early); or have not recently tested positive (please do not test for 90 days after a confirmed COVID-19 illness). For additional guidance, please visit www.odu.edu/covid19 and select the "COVID-19 Testing" information tab.
I am extremely proud of the high percentage of vaccination rates for our students with over 97% fully vaccinated. In our residence halls, our vaccination rate is even higher at 99.7%. I am also pleased to report that our positivity rate for campus testing continues to decrease and remains lower than that of our region and the Commonwealth of Virginia. I look forward to our constant commitment to Reign Responsibly as we continue in-person engagement with robust campus activities and operations throughout this semester and beyond!
With Monarch Pride,
Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.