Originally published August 15, 2021.
Old Dominion University (ODU) released a statement from the office of the President Brian Hemphill to the student body on Aug. 10 reinstating an indoor masking policy that will go into effect on campus on Aug. 16 in response to the Delta variant COVID-19 surge. This was a decision made in compliance with the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation, which states that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a mask in public and indoor settings.
Vaccination requirements, as well as vaccination documentation requirements, were also included in this statement stating that all students, faculty, and staff will need to be vaccinated by the Sep. 1 deadline. Exemptions can be made for medical or religious purposes, though all individuals with exemptions will be subject to required weekly COVID-19 testing.
Reinstating mask mandates as well as requiring vaccinations for students and faculty is being practiced by other universities in Virginia, including Virginia Tech, University of Virginia (UVA), William and Mary, and Christopher Newport, according to the Virginian Pilot. While UVA officials have told the Virginian Pilot that they hope to lift the mask mandate for vaccinated individuals by Sep. 6, no statement of similar sentiment has been released by ODU officials. Instead, at ODU, policies are expected to be enforced “until further notice”, according to the statement released by President Hemphill.