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Vaccine not required for those who work at, attend Virginia community colleges

Masks optional for fully-vaccinated people

If you work at or go to a community college in Virginia, you’re not required to get the coronavirus vaccine.

“I believe it is in the best interests of our faculty, staff, and students to encourage everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccine. However, we will not require an individual be vaccinated to attend or to work at one of our colleges,” said Glenn Dubois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

According to Dubois, the lack of residence halls paired with the lack of public health infrastructure on campuses makes for a unique situation at the commonwealth’s community colleges. Dubois also said that because community colleges offer short-term training and credentialing programs, a vaccine mandate could create barriers to student enrollment.

Masks will also be optional for people who are fully vaccinated.

You can read Dubois’ full statement below:

“After consulting with presidents and senior leaders across our 23 community colleges, I believe it is in the best interests of our faculty, staff, and students to encourage everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccine. However, we will not require an individual be vaccinated to attend or to work at one of our colleges.

“The lack of residence halls on community college campuses makes this issue different for us than it is for universities. Similarly, community colleges lack the public health infrastructure that is required to support such densely populated on-campus living arrangements, including the creation, maintenance, and protection of personal student health data, like vaccination records. And given our colleges’ offerings of short-term training and credentialing programs, mandating proof of vaccination may create an impractical and unintended barrier to student enrollment, thus diminishing our ability to deliver our mission at this critical time.

“Further, effective immediately, we will not require those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to wear a mask while on a Virginia Community College campus. This is in accordance with the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Office of Governor Ralph Northam, and the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM). Of course, if you are fully vaccinated and you are still uncomfortable around others, please continue to wear your face covering knowing that you have our support to do so.”

Glenn Dubois, chancellor of Virginia's Community Colleges

About the Author:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a digital content producer in July 2018.