On Monday evening, ODU’s Executive Policy Team announced two significant changes to the state’s public health restrictions and vaccination pre-registration via email.
The changes come as COVID-19 hospitalizations and infection rates continue to decline in Virginia as vaccinations rise. Governor Northam announced that he amended Executive Order 72 to begin easing public health restrictions “gradually and safely” starting March 1st.
One sign of good news is the resumption of social gatherings under new guidelines. There is now a ten person gathering limit for indoor events and outdoor events held off campus. The new guidelines also detail a 25 person gathering limit for outdoor events held on campus. The most significant change for the university is that student organization events with 10 or less attendees can be held off campus without an advisor.
The email also encouraged the campus community to pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) as the agency is working to “ensure vaccine distribution is equitable” and follows CDC priority guidelines.
Giovanna M. Genard, Assistant VP for Strategic Communication and Marketing, wrote “Virginia is currently vaccinating people eligible under Phases 1A and 1B. Most faculty and staff will be part of Phase 1C.”
Besides students who work in the healthcare field as trainees and those who serve to maintain university operations, there is no information yet on what phase or when the general student body will receive vaccinations.
Meanwhile, ODU’s Executive Policy Team encourages students to pre-register and reach out to retail pharmacies such as CVS and Walmart that are partnering with local, state, and federal programs to vaccinate the public. ODU also suggests contacting a primary care provider for assistance in being vaccinated.
For more information on pre-registration, the University encourages the campus community to visit VDH’s ‘Vaccinate Virginia’ webpage at https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/ or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682) to speak with someone.