Surge in coronavirus prompts mandates for state workers to be vaccinated, and mask wearing indoors at Virginia’s Community Colleges  

Home|Blog|Surge in coronavirus prompts mandates for state workers to be vaccinated, and mask wearing indoors at Virginia’s Community Colleges  

Prompted by a surge in coronavirus cases caused by the highly contagious Delta variant, Governor Ralph Northam has announced that Virginia will require most state employees to show proof of vaccination, or undergo weekly COVID testing if they refuse.  The governor’s vaccination order takes effect September 1st and it extends to community college faculty, staff, part-time employees, and contractors who enter the workplace or have public-facing duties.

In addition, VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois has announced that everyone is now required to wear facemasks in public indoor spaces on our campuses and at other VCCS facilities, including the system office and Shared Services Center.  The mask mandate applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.

About vaccinations:

  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated by September 1, or who refuse disclosure of vaccination status will be required to provide evidence of weekly negative COVID test results;
  • The governor’s order includes an exemption for medical and religious reasons; those employees, if approved, must provide evidence of weekly negative COVID test results; and
  • Employees who fail to comply with the mandate may face consequences.

We are still awaiting important guidance from the Virginia Department of Human Resources Management (DHRM) on how to apply the vaccination mandate.

“As you might imagine, we’re eager to learn more about DHRM’s guidance on implementing this directive,” said Craig Herndon, VCCS Senior Vice Chancellor for Administration, Finance, and Technology. “Stay tuned for more details, likely in a couple of weeks.”

About masking:

In the interest of the safety of visitors, students, faculty and staff at Virginia’s Community Colleges, people in indoor public spaces on our campuses and at other VCCS properties (including the system office and Shared Services Center) are now required to wear face masks.

The masking mandate comes as a result of the spread of the easily transmitted Delta Variant of the coronavirus and is based on guidance from state and federal health authorities.  The mandate applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.

VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois announced the mask mandate in an August 4 memo to college presidents statewide.  That message reads, in part:

I call on you to implement this mandate in a manner that best matches your college, including allowing for instructors to remove masks when instructing students from a safe distance or from behind a plexiglass barrier. 

Together, we will continue to monitor the public health of our community and guidance from authoritative sources, like the CDC and revisit this mandate when needed. 

Thank you for all that you are doing to continue to support the health of your community, including actively encouraging vaccination.

Covid-19 has claimed more than 11,500 lives in Virginia.  There have been more than 711,000 cases in the commonwealth, and almost 32,000 Virginians have been hospitalized, according to the state health department.

To learn more about Covid-19 cases in Virginia, click here.

To learn more about Governor Northam’s executive order on vaccinations, click here.

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