February 28, 2022
Dear VU Community:
Along with Friday’s announcement that the CDC has modified its guidance for masks, the VU Executive team has been reviewing data among our students, faculty, and staff, along with trends in our locations, evaluating options and potential timing for relaxing our current mandate.
VU’s case loads have dropped significantly over the past four weeks among all groups and county conditions in most areas of the State have drastically improved. With that information, the changes to CDC guidance released last Friday, and the expectation that cases will remain low, VU will relax its mask mandate, effective at 5 PM, today, Monday, February 28, 2022.
MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING
Going forward and until further notice, masks will become optional inside VU facilities at all campuses and sites. This applies to VU locations only. Please defer to policies at partner locations which may still require masking or other Covid safety protocols. Mask wearing and and social distancing will continue to be encouraged in some instances, as outlined by the CDC’s latest guidance, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html
Please note the following:
Individuals may choose to continue wearing a mask for a variety of personal or health reasons. Please be considerate.
The University Primary Care Clinic may continue to enforce the mask mandate for visitors and staff. Please look for signage to indicate if that requirement is in effect before entering the clinic.
The current restrictions for large events will remain in effect until April 30, 2022.
Safety barriers, such as plexiglass in offices, classrooms, and labs, will remain in place for the rest of the academic year.
VU will maintain its contact tracing process for the remainder of the academic year and ask all faculty, staff, and students to continue to report Covid cases and close contacts through the online form.
VU encourages all eligible students, faculty, and staff to become fully vaccinated, according to CDC and FDA guidance.
With the approach of spring break, March 7-11, VU encourages all students, faculty, and staff to avoid taking unnecessary risks for exposure to COVID-19.
As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor conditions and consult with appropriate health officials to determine if we should make additional adjustments to our COVID-19 policies and protocols.
Though I have said it countless times over the past two years, I want to say again that I am so grateful to everyone in the VU community for your cooperation and flexibility as we strive to keep everyone safe. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Charles R. Johnson, Ph.D.