ODU to require masks indoors starting August 16, vaccination deadline approaching


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Old Dominion University is reinstating mask requirements indoors for the upcoming school year due to climbing virus levels.

Like most of the country, Norfolk and surrounding areas are reporting high levels of community transmission, the CDC says.

ODU President Brian Hemphill cited recent CDC guidance and similar actions at other schools and businesses, and said the indoor masking requirement will go into effect August 16 and stay until further notice. Classes officially begin on August 28.

Masks will be needed in all indoor public spaces, including classrooms, facilities and buildings, except when people are eating or drinking.

Vaccinations for all on-campus students and staff are still required by Sept. 1 with exemptions for medical and religious reasons. Medical exemptions require a medical exemption form completed by a health care provider, and religious exemptions must include a notary.

All must be uploaded to the Monarch Wellness Portal online.

All unvaccinated people, including those with a medical or religious exemption, will have to be tested weekly.

ODU also says all symptomatic students and staff must be tested and follow university protocols before they’re able to return to campus. COVID-19 testing is available for all ODU students by contacting Student Health Services at 757-683-3132 or covidcares@odu.edu. ODU will have more information on staff testing and contact tracing coming up.

“Your continued diligence has made it possible to offer robust engagement and programming opportunities this fall,” Hemphill said. “However, it will be up to each of us to ensure an engaging and safe semester.”

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