ODU Students No Longer Required to be Fully Vaccinated

Jonathan Fernandes, News Editor

On Monday, President Hemphill’s office released a statement regarding the school’s policy on COVID-19 vaccination.  ODU will no longer require students to be fully vaccinated and non-vaccinated students no longer need to test weekly.  Last week, a legal opinion issued by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares stated that public universities cannot require students to have the COVID-19 vaccine.  In accordance with previous faculty and staff policy adjustments, this state-level action by the Attorney General comes as a result of Governor Youngkin’s executive directive regarding vaccine mandates

While the vaccine is no longer required, masking indoors still is.  For students in need of a mask, there are multiple locations across campus that offer free masks.  With the removal of the vaccine requirement and weekly testing, all Monarchs should take necessary precautions and stay home if they are feeling unwell.  For all questions regarding COVID-19, go to www.odu.edu/covid-19.

As President Hemphill’s statement says, the vaccination rate for student’s is over 97 percent and the rate for residence halls is 99.7 percent.  Also, the positivity rate for campus testing continues to drop lower than the surrounding areas.  This has been made possible through the effort of the students, faculty, and staff to ensure a safe and healthy campus.  This last update to policy marks one of the final steps in return to normalcy for ODU.  From completely going online in the beginning of the pandemic to gradually reintegrating in-person classes, ODU has prioritized the safety of its students, faculty and staff.  

One question on a lot of minds is when the mask mandate will be lifted.  Since its implementation on August 16 in response to the Delta variant surge, ODU has maintained a strict policy on wearing masks indoors.  After the latest adjustment to the vaccination requirement, lifting the mask mandate seems likely in the near future