Dear Monarch Nation:
As our students, faculty and staff are eager to return to campus while COVID-19 cases are surging due to the Delta variant, a number of proactive mitigation measures are being implemented to ensure a safe and successful Fall 2021 semester. As outlined below, these measures are aimed at both promoting and protecting the health and well-being of our immediate campus, the local community and the broader region. Additionally, these measures are in accordance with recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies, while also following similar actions being taken across many sectors of our society.
Required Indoor Masking for All (Effective August 16, 2021)
As the presence and spread of the Delta variant has significantly increased, the most recent public health research shows that all individuals, including those vaccinated, can spread COVID-19 to others. As a result, the CDC now recommends that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask while in public indoor settings. Therefore, effective August 16, 2021 and until further notice, Old Dominion University will require face masks that cover both the mouth and nose fully in all indoor public spaces, including classrooms, facilities and buildings, except when eating or drinking.
Vaccination Requirement and Related Documentation (Effective September 1, 2021)
As the vaccine remains the most effective means of responding to the pandemic, all on-campus students, faculty and staff will be required to be vaccinated by September 1, 2021. Exemptions can be requested for medical reasons or religious beliefs. All unvaccinated individuals, including those with a medical or religious exemption, will be subject to required weekly testing.
Students, faculty and staff will be required to upload proof of vaccination or a medical or religious exemption to the Monarch Wellness Portal, which is a secure online platform. Exemptions can be requested utilizing the Medical Exemption Form, which must be completed by a health care provider, or the Religious Exemption Form for Faculty and Staffor the Religious Exemption Form for Students, which must include a notary. Please note that fully online students, faculty and staff, meaning those who never visit the ODU campus or affiliated higher education centers, are not required to be vaccinated or submit documentation. If you have not been vaccinated and plan to be on campus, please call 800-232-0233 or visit www.vaccines.govto make an appointment.
In addition to the measures outlined above, anyone who feels ill or believes they were exposed to COVID-19 should see a health care provider for testing. All symptomatic students, faculty and staff must be tested and follow University protocols before being cleared to return. COVID-19 testing is available for all ODU students by contacting Student Health Services at 757-683-3132 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Employees may get tested through their health care provider or schedule an appointment through the campus testing center by completing the Request a Test Form or e-mailing email@example.com. The Office of Risk Management will be sharing additional details regarding employee testing very soon. Finally, students, faculty and staff who are identified through contact tracing as having been in close contact with someone who tested positive will receive instructions on how to proceed.
Since the beginning of the global health pandemic, Monarchs have answered the call to #ReignResponsibly both on campus and in the community. Your continued diligence has made it possible to offer robust engagement and programming opportunities this fall. However, it will be up to each of us to ensure an engaging and safe semester. Together, we are #MonarchStrong! GO MONARCHS!
With Monarch Pride,
Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.