Local colleges and universities adjust calendars and coronavirus policies in light of COVID-19 surge

Education

Students wear masks on campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. The university announced that it would cancel all in-person undergraduate learning starting on Wednesday following a cluster of COVID-19 cases on campus. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – There has been a recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Virginia and nationwide, especially with the contagious omicron variant of the virus spreading.

Many local college and universities have altered their calendars and COVID-19 policies in response. Some are requiring COVID-19 boosters before students or staff can set foot on campus.

WAVY.com compiled a list of the announced changes so you know what to expect before you return to campus for the Spring semester.

Christopher Newport University

Calendar

On December 23, an email was sent out announcing the delay in the start of classes from January 5 to January 10 and the move to telework and flexible work schedules for the week of January 3.

Then, on January 5, CNU President Paul Trible emailed students, faculty and staff with updates to the spring semester opening.

  • Classes will begin on Monday, January 10 – but all classes for the first two weeks of the semester will now be virtual.
  • Residence halls will re-open for general move-in on Friday, January 21 and move-in will be staggered over the course of that weekend.
  • Some students are already on campus – student athletes and others who had commitments in advance of the start of the semester. CNU will also be testing students currently on campus, regardless of vaccine status, to help prevent any further outbreaks.
  • CNU will continue testing unvaccinated members of the campus family as we did in the fall semester; however, we will also be implementing new testing plans for the campus overall – students, faculty and staff, regardless of vaccine status – as we return.

In-person classes will begin on campus on Monday, January 24, 2022.

Booster Shots

On December 31, the university announced it would be requiring all students to receive a COVID-19 booster by February 15. In the message, the school wrote, “The booster requirement will help us protect our campus community and the community around us, and it will give us the best chance at delivering the highest quality in-person, in-classroom educational experience.”

Faculty and staff are not required to receive a booster, but are strongly encouraged to get one.

Masks

Face masks will continue to be required indoors.

Commencement

The date of Commencement has been moved from May 7 to May 14. This change also means the exam schedule will be pushed back.

Vaccinations

Those who are not fully vaccinated will continue to be tested weekly.

To learn more about CNU’s vaccination and masking policies, click here.

Hampton University

Calendar

Classes will begin remotely on Monday, January 10, 2022. In-person classes will resume on Monday, January 24, 2022. All in-person activities are cancelled through January 24, 2022.

Booster Shots

Hampton University has decided to require the COVID-19 booster vaccine. Students will be required to receive the booster by Friday, January 14 and must upload a copy of their updated vaccination card to MedProctor by that date.

The University confirmed several students have suspended or expelled for submitting fraudulent vaccination cards.

Only those who have met this additional requirement may continue their enrollment at the University AND move into their residence hall. You must upload an updated vaccination card prior to moving
into your residence hall.

Hampton University

Health Protocols

Everyone must wear required face coverings in all public spaces and practice physical distancing.

Mitigation Strategies include: Increasing routine cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting of all campus buildings. Electrostatic and ultraviolet light cleaning. Installation of hand sanitizer stations, disinfecting wipes and air purifiers. Daily temperature scans. Installation of plexiglass partitions in residence halls. 

To learn more about HU’s vaccination and masking policies, click here.

Norfolk State University

Calendar

The start of spring classes has been moved to January 18, 2022. Move-in is now scheduled to begin on January 12-13, 2022 from 8:30 a.m.- 4:45 p.m. for new students and Spartan Suites residents. Returning students will be able to move in on January 13-16, 2022 from 8:30 a.m.- 4:45 p.m. All residents can move in immediately after being tested for COVID-19. Walk-In testing will be available on January 16, 2022.

Booster Shots

All students, staff, and faculty are required to show proof of having received a booster shot no later than Feb. 4 unless they have an exemption.

Testing

All students who will be on campus during the Spring 2022 semester must complete return testing prior to the start of classes. Please see the updated information below for details:

Commuter Students 

  • You have the option to sign up for the on-campus testing process using the Returning Student link, or you may submit your own COVID-19 test as long as it is administered between 1/10/22 and 1/16/22. Send a jpeg or pdf of your results to COVID@nsu.edu
    before 1/17/22. Home test kits will be made available for free on campus for non-residential students on January 12, 13, and 14 from noon – 3 p.m. at the Student Center front desk. 

Online Students

  • If you are completely online and do not come to campus for any reason including work, labs, events, or the library, you may notify covid@nsu.edu and be exempt from return testing.  

To learn more about NSU’s vaccination and masking policies, click here.

Old Dominion University

Calendar

Old Dominion University will begin the Spring 2022 semester as planned, with in-person classes.

Vaccine Revision

On January 18, 2022, ODU announced that the University is revising its vaccine requirement in accordance with Executive Directive 2 signed by Governor Glenn Youngkin. Students are still required to be fully vaccinated and should submit documentation regarding a booster by February 10, 2022 in the Monarch Wellness Portal. The deadline to upload proof of vaccination for those who are not yet eligible is within seven days of receiving the booster.

Faculty and staff are no longer required to be fully vaccinated; however, the vaccine, including a booster, is strongly encouraged. Faculty and staff who receive a booster should also submit documentation in the Monarch Wellness Portal.

Testing Revision

Weekly testing for non-vaccinated employees is no longer required, but it will continue to be offered and is encouraged. For additional information about the vaccine, please visit https://www.odu.edu/status/covid-19/faq#vaccines.

Students living on campus are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. All other students, faculty and staff are encouraged to test in order to know their health status before returning to campus for classes and/or work.

For additional information, including how to make an appointment for campus testing in the Monarch Wellness Portal, visit https://www.odu.edu/content/dam/odu/offices/risk-management/DOCS/making-a-covid19-test-appt.pdf. For the remainder of the semester, ODU will continue to offer campus testing and provide dashboard updates.

Health Protocols

The University will continue following the latest public health best practices 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.

Masks

Effective August 16, 2021 and until further notice, Old Dominion University will require everyone two years or older to wear 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. This is regardless of vaccination status.

Masking locations have been set-up across campus to provide disposable masks as needed.

To learn more about ODU’s latest vaccination and masking policies, click here.

Regent University

Vaccinations

Regent University will not require students and employees to be vaccinated prior to returning to campus for Spring 2022. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) strongly encourages individuals to be vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus.

Completion of the daily self-screening questionnaire will not be required. However, if students or employees have symptoms, or believe they have been exposed to COVID-19, they should navigate to the MyRegent portal, complete the questionnaire, and remain in place until the Office of Student Services or the Human Resources Department contacts them, respectively.

Masks

Regent University students and employees are strongly encouraged to wear face masks indoors in areas where social distancing is not possible. Face masks are not required outdoors.

To learn more about Regent University’s vaccination and masking policies, click here.

Tidewater Community College

Given the increasing positivity rate of the Omicron variant, Tidewater Community College announced it has decided to continue with remote work and instruction until the end of January 2022.

Continuing through January 31:

  • Temporarily switch all in-person classes to synchronous online delivery.
  • All critical infrastructure employees will continue to report to work. All other campus employees should work remotely. Employees with questions about whether to report to work should contact their supervisor.
  • All on-campus events and activities are moved to virtual.
  • Masking indoors will continue throughout TCC to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
  • N95 Masks will be available for faculty and staff upon return to campus and upon request.
  • During this remote time-frame, cleaning protocols will be increased in the buildings where students and staff are present.

Students in workforce or clinical classes in the licensed health professions will receive specific guidance from their instructors. There are also career and technical education classes meeting face-to-face.

Thomas Nelson Community College (Soon to be ‘Virginia Peninsula Community College’)

Calendar

TNCC will switch most of its classes from in-person to virtual for the first two weeks of the spring semester, which run from Jan. 10-21. Campuses in Hampton and Williamsburg will be open to the public. Offices will be staffed.

Some in-person classes for career and technical programs, including allied health, and skilled trades courses will continue meeting in-person.

Teachers will use CANVAS to notify students about the specifics of their classes for the first two weeks of the semester.

New students should plan to attend virtual Orientation Friday, Jan. 7 or the Virtual Bootcamp Saturday, Jan. 8.

Faculty and staff should check with their immediate supervisors to see if they need to work from home or on campus.

Vaccinations

At this time, students are not required to be vaccinated at TNCC.

Employees are required to get vaccinated per the governor’s orders. They are required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 every week.

Faculty and staff seeking a religious and/or medical exemption are required to coordinate with Human Resources to ensure the appropriate documentation is available for review and consideration of exemption status.

There is a vaccination reporting tool. To access the tool:

1. log into my.vccs.edu or MyTNCC using your login credentials.
2. Next click on the SIS Tile
3. Click on Health Form tile.
4. Click “Fill out a New Form

Masks

TNCC has an indoor mask requirement for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors in college-owned or leased spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

To learn more about TNCC’s vaccination and masking policies, click here.

Virginia Wesleyan University

Booster Shots

Virginia Wesleyan is requiring all faculty, staff and students to receive the COVID-19 booster shot and to submit proof of receiving COVID-19 booster shots on or before February 28, 2022.

Students must submit one of the following to covidsafe@vwu.edu no later than February 28:

  • A copy of your official CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. An image of your vaccination card must clearly include your name, date of birth, and the location and date(s) of vaccination.
  • Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination, which can be generated from the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) recipient portal at vams.cdc.gov.

All University employees must submit proof of the COVID-19 booster with the same above requirements to humanresources@vwu.edu no later than February 28. This requirement applies to all full-time and part-time employees, University volunteers, and all primary contract service providers (Aramark, Sodexo, and Sentara).

Faculty and staff who are unable to submit proof of the booster should NOT report to campus on or after February 28, until their updated vaccine record is submitted. 

Masks

Regardless of vaccination status, all students, faculty/staff, and visitors must wear face coverings/masks while indoors on campus. This includes classrooms, labs, residence halls, and other communal areas. Masks are not required outdoors as long as 6’ of social distance is maintained. Residential students do not need to wear masks in their own rooms.

To learn more about Virginia Wesleyan’s vaccination and masking policies, click here.

Tidewater Community College

Calendar

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, with the spread of the omicron variant, TCC has decided to implement a remote work and learning environment until January 18, 2022.

Now until January 18:

  • TCC will temporarily switch all in-person classes to synchronous online delivery.
  • All critical infrastructure employees will continue to report to work. All other campus employees should work remotely. Employees with questions about whether to report to work should contact their supervisor.
  • All on-campus events and activities are moved to virtual – including the upcoming Convocation/Learning Institute.
  • TCC will continue COVID-19 protocols concerning mask wearing. Masking indoors will continue throughout TCC to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
  • N95 Masks will be available for faculty and staff upon return to campus and upon request.
  • Laptop distribution will be held on Jan. 7-8. An email with additional instructions will be sent to those who are eligible.

Virtual resources will continue to be available:

  • Student Services hours of operation: Extended hours will be offered January 3-14, 2022 (virtual)
    • Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. 
    • Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • Special Virtual Enrollment Day (virtual only)
    • Saturday, January 8, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • Please call 757-822-1111 for assistance

William & Mary

** Due to weather, the move-in date for all undergraduate, residential students has been moved to Monday, January 24. Details here.

Booster Shots for Students

All eligible William & Mary students will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 booster vaccination on or before January 18, 2022. The CDC currently defines eligibility as six months past the Pfizer or Moderna series or two months past the J&J series.

The college will contact those not in compliance. Students who are not in compliance face being disenrolled for the spring semester. Employees who are not in compliance will be placed on 30 days leave without pay followed by termination if they remain out of compliance.

If you are not yet eligible, you will be required to obtain and record a booster within one month of your eligibility date, based on your vaccination dates recorded in the Kallaco portal.

If you already have an approved deferral for the spring semester or a disability or religious exemption on file, you are exempt from the booster requirement, but you will be required to comply with W&M’s testing protocols.

Employee Vaccines and Boosters

On January 15, Governor Glenn Youngkin signed Executive Directive 2 announcing a change in public policy guidance for state employees and prohibiting vaccine requirements as a condition of employment. In alignment with that change, W&M will move to strongly recommending vaccines and boosters for all employees. Research continues to show unequivocally that immune response declines over time and that boosters minimize the severity of COVID-19 should you be exposed.

The policy announced in Executive Directive 2 also prohibits mandatory disclosure of vaccine status as a condition of employment. Going forward, W&M will be strongly encouraging employees to share whether they are vaccinated and use ReportCOVID.wm.edu to access W&M’s COVID-19 tests if they are symptomatic or have been identified as a close contact through our case managers.

Testing Availability

Students will have access to testing through ReportCOVID.wm.edu if they are symptomatic or have been verified as a close contact through W&M’s case management.

In a shift from prior protocols, W&M will also now provide testing through ReportCOVID.wm.edu for employees who are symptomatic or have been verified as a close contract.

Mask Availability

W&M continues to require masks in shared indoor spaces at all times unless actively eating or drinking. W&M has ordered 40,000 KN95 masks for students, faculty and staff. Once those have been delivered, the college will provide instructions on how to gain access to the masks.

View the William and Mary COVID-19 dashboard here. You can also visit the William & Mary COVID-19 page and Path Forward for the most current information on coronavirus protocols.  

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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