DC Area Colleges Detail Vaccination and Return to Campus Plans for Fall

Some universities in the DC area, including the University of Maryland, will need COVID-19 vaccines for students, faculty, and staff.

Major DC-area universities are releasing their plans to return to campus for the next fall semester, signaling a return to in-person teaching more than a year after coronavirus restrictions pushed students to online learning.

American University

The American University is requiring all students as well as faculty and staff who set foot on campus to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The university is asking all faculty and staff on campus this upcoming school year to complete a form by July 30 stating that they have been vaccinated.

According to a recent staff survey, 73% of faculty and staff had already been vaccinated and 19% said they were planning to be vaccinated. Faculty and staff can request a medical or religious exemption from the vaccine requirement.

Likewise, all students who plan to live or travel on campus for any reason during the fall will need to be vaccinated, said AU President Sylvia Burwell. Students will be required to provide proof of vaccination similar to other vaccinations already required to attend university. It will need to be shown before the August move in.

“This requirement is an important part of our return to campus in the fall,” said Burwell. “COVID-19 vaccines reduce the spread of disease and are very effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalizations. “

More information is available for students on the university website.

International students will be contacted directly before coming for the fall semester and will receive information on how to get vaccinated. Waivers will be allowed for medical or religious reasons according to university protocols, Burwell said.

Staff and faculty will be strongly recommended to get vaccinated, Burwell said. Face coverings, social distancing rules and other safety protocols will be in effect during the fall semester, including for those who receive a vaccine.

Georgetown University

Georgetown University will require all of its undergraduate and graduate students at its main campus, medical center, and legal center to receive a COVID-19 vaccination for the fall semester.

In a letter to the academic community, President John J. DeGioia said the decision was made following advice from the school’s director of public health, Dr. Ranit Mishori, and his health advisory group. public. Students, staff and faculty leaders were also consulted.

“As I shared in my post on March 25, we anticipate that the conditions will be in place this fall to bring our community back and resume a more regular life on our campuses,” DeGioia said. “Our gradual return begins this summer, with a full return from our community for the fall.”

Georgetown plans to provide additional information to international students and students living offshore in the coming weeks. Medical and religious exemptions will be granted, DeGioia said, provided it complies with local and federal laws.

The decision to require faculty and staff to be vaccinated will be taken at a later date depending on ongoing public health measures.

George Washington University

GWU will require all students, faculty and staff to be fully immunized against the coronavirus before arriving on campus this fall, President Thomas LeBlanc announced on April 19, after consulting with staff and student leaders on the matter. .

“We continue to be encouraged by the progress we are making each day towards a post-pandemic university, country and world,” LeBlanc said in an email update to the community. “We expect vaccine availability to increase, allowing anyone aged 16 and over to receive a COVID-19 vaccine this spring or summer. “

Current students and staff should upload their vaccination record to the school’s medical portal. For incoming students, the COVID-19 vaccine will be included in the immunization requirements due each fall.

Any vaccine currently authorized or approved for use in the United States will be accepted. The school says it will work with international students who have received a vaccine not currently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration on a case-by-case basis.

Exemptions will only be granted on a limited basis, mainly for medical or religious reasons; students who are online only and professors who will only teach virtually this fall will not be required to receive the vaccine unless they plan to come to campus. Routine testing will not be accepted in place of vaccination.

“We will use discretion in the application of the warrant for those who have extenuating circumstances which are beyond their control and which will cause delays in immunization,” the school said in a statement.

More information on the new requirement is available on the university’s website.

Howard University

Students who are physically on campus should be fully immunized. Professors and staff who will be on campus in the fall must receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (or the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine) by September 3. The second dose of a two-dose regimen should be completed by October 1.

Masks are still mandatory inside and outside on campus, regardless of immunization status as of August 4.

Morgan State University

Morgan State University in Baltimore will require all faculty, staff, and students to have received a full immunization by August 1.

In addition, the president of the university, David Wilson, is in the process of forming an immunization management team to develop a plan to oversee the process.

“After careful consideration, extensive internal and external consultation, and favorable comments from myriad members of our Morgan community, the best path to a return to normalcy is to demand that everyone within our community pull together. get vaccinated, “Wilson said in a statement. .

“The science is credible; vaccinations are the only way to get herd immunity, and everyone needs to be part of that solution. We appreciate each other’s understanding as we go through these difficult times together, with the safety of the community as a whole in mind. “

Morgan serves approximately 8,000 students with over 2,200 faculty and staff.

More information is available online.

University of the District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) will require a “full vaccination” for anyone entering campus facilities when they reopen in the fall, the school said.

The school said it made its decision based on federal and DC guidelines as well as comments from a university-wide investigation.

The school said it will continue to meet capacity limits imposed by DC and that it will require masks and social distancing when the campus reopens. In addition, learning will be ‘delivered through multiple modalities’, including face-to-face and virtual distance options.

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland will require COVID-19 vaccines for all students, faculty, and staff when classes begin on August 30.

Maryland University System Chancellor Jay Perman announced the decision on April 23.

The university plans to gradually expand the presence of people on its College Park campus this summer towards a full return in the fall.

In its phased plan, the university said it would meet public health guidelines for Prince George County and the state of Maryland.

Everyone on campus will be undergoing regular COVID-19 testing and plans must be in place to deal with all COVID-19 cases and quarantines. Wearing a mask will be compulsory in all indoor and outdoor public places, according to university guidelines. Vaccines are highly recommended for students, staff, and faculty.

The university is also calling on professors and staff working remotely to gradually increase the number of days on campus. The school said that by July 5, it expects to reach an average population density on campus. By August 2, the campus will reach nearly 100 percent of its capacity, the plan says.

Telecommuting by staff and faculty can continue until July, but any telecommuting after August 2 will require a new telecommuting agreement between staff and supervisors.

The university warns that the dates for its phased plan are predictions and depend on expected changes in government regulations and health notices. It could also change depending on how the pandemic progresses.

Maryland predicts that by August 2, there will be full capacity in classrooms and labs on campus, full catering service, close capacity and typical college dorm operations, full capacity and typical operations in gymnasiums, libraries and lounges.

Classes start August 30.

University of Virginia

The University of Virginia will require all students to be fully immunized for the 2021-22 school year by July 1, otherwise they will not be allowed on campus after June 30, the school announced on May 20. . Proof of vaccination will also be required by July 1. Vaccine information can be downloaded from the HealthyHoos Patient Portal.

Students can request medical or religious exemptions. But if an exemption is granted, students will be subject to weekly COVID-19 testing requirements and likely other public health measures. More details on the exemption process will be available no later than June 15.

Vaccination of staff is strongly encouraged, but not yet compulsory. School officials will monitor employee vaccination rates in the future and consult with public health experts when determining whether to require vaccines for all employees. If they do, exemptions for medical or religious reasons will be allowed.

Currently, members of the UVA community who are fully immunized can forgo wearing masks indoors and outdoors, the school announced on May 14.

Glynis Kazanjian, Dick Uliano and Will Vitka of OMCT contributed to this report.

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