The University of Virginia enters the new academic year with high vaccination rates

UVA Grounds
UVA Grounds
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:50 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Undergraduate classes at the University of Virginia begin on August 23. Many graduate classes have already begun.

Before students come back to Grounds, they are required to be vaccinated -- unless they have a religious or medical exemption.

“99% of students have complied with our requirements, so there’s only one percent of our entire student body that isn’t either vaccinated or doesn’t have a valid exemption,” UVA spokesperson Brian Coy said.

Students who have not reported becoming vaccinated by this point have been unenrolled, but still have a chance to turn that status around.

“They can log on to a student portal, and affirm that they have been vaccinated and load up their vaccination card, and they should be good to go,” said Coy.

184 students will be receiving the vaccine when they get back to Grounds, as they had difficulty finding vaccines in their hometowns.

Students who intend on becoming vaccinated but have struggled to gain access to a vaccine can contact student affairs.

“That’s kind of a case by case thing within student affairs. As time passes, those opportunities grow fewer because classes are about to start,” Coy said.

The vaccine is encouraged for faculty, but requirements are different. Coy says 93% of university employees and 96% of classroom faculty are vaccinated.

There is not an option for students who do not want to be vaccinated to study virtually. All students are expected to study in-person.

Unvaccinated faculty and students with an exemption will have to present a negative COVID-19 test weekly. Unvaccinated students inside dorms or private housing and faculty in closed areas can remove their masks.

All students and staff are expected to wear their masks outside of those spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

These policies will be re-evaluated on September 6, as they were put in place in response to the Delta variant rising.

High vaccination rates have led UVA leaders to allow events like football games and the Wahoo Welcome events when the fall semester begins.

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