SEC-045: COVID-19 Health & Safety Requirements – Vaccination, Testing, Face Masks, Events and Gatherings, and Visitors

Applies To:

Academic Division for the 2021-2022 Academic Year.

Reason for Policy:

The University is committed to providing a safe environment in which to teach, perform research, work, learn, and study. Because coronavirus (COVID-19) can spread quickly and cause widespread illness and death, the University has established requirements for vaccination, testing, face coverings, events and gatherings, and visitors to the University to protect faculty, staff, students, and contractors (vendors who have a contractual relationship with the University) from potential exposure to this disease.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Event or Gathering:

    In-person, on- or off-Grounds assembly, meeting, or convening that brings together multiple people from separate households in a single space, indoors or outdoors, at the same time for a common purpose to conduct University business or student activity. Events and gatherings may include meetings, social events, or other extracurricular activities that bring together people for in-person interaction. Events and gatherings do not include University-scheduled classes or labs. Events and gatherings do not include settings in which people are in the same general space at the same time but doing separate activities, like dorms, offices, stores, and restaurants where people may be working, shopping, or eating in the same general area but not gathering together in an organized fashion.

  • Expressive Activity:

    A non-commercial activity in which a person intends to convey a lawful message through speech or conduct that is likely to be perceived as such by an observer of the speech or conduct, and includes any lawful public gathering, demonstration, procession, or parade in which the primary purpose is to exercise the rights of free speech or peaceable assembly.

  • Face Covering (Face Mask):

    Face coverings/masks are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health primarily to slow the spread of COVID-19 by reducing spread of the virus from the wearer to others. They are not intended to provide protection from inhalation of small particles or virus aerosols. According to CDC guidance, an effective cloth face covering will:

    • Cover both the mouth and the nose;
    • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face;
    • Include multiple layers of fabric;
    • Allow for breathing without restriction; and
    • Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.
  • Fully Vaccinated:

    Fully Vaccinated: Per CDC guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated:

    • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines;
    • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine; or
    • 2 weeks after the last dose of vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization.
  • University Property:

    Land or buildings that the University owns or leases and that is under the control of the Board of Visitors. University property also includes premises the University uses for activities of its offices, departments, personnel, or students.

Policy Statement:

To protect faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors from potential exposure to COVID-19, the University encourages individuals to follow CDC guidelines and federal, state, and local directives. All faculty, staff, students, and contractors are required to follow COVID-19 risk mitigation measures, as directed by the University.

  1. COVID-19 Vaccination: All students and Academic Division employees must adhere to the following vaccination requirements, excluding faculty and staff in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, the University Physicians Group, and the Claude Moore Health System Library who are governed by OCH-002: Occupational Health Screening and Maintenance:

    Students: Beginning July 1, all students who live, learn, or work in person at the University of Virginia during the 2021-2022 academic year must be fully vaccinated. Students may seek a medical or religious exemption to the vaccination requirement. Students with approved medical or religious exemptions will be subject to pre-arrival and weekly testing requirements and other public health measures such as masking as determined by the University. Students who do not complete pre-arrival testing as well as students who are not vaccinated and not approved for an exemption will not be permitted to come to Grounds after July 1, 2021.

    Faculty and Staff: The University expects all UVA faculty and staff to be vaccinated unless they have a medical or religious reason not to do so. Faculty and staff unable to provide proof of vaccination will be subject to mandatory saliva PCR testing once each week or as otherwise directed by the University. Unvaccinated faculty and staff must also adhere to other public health measures such as masking as directed by the University.

    Contractors: The University expects contract workers who work on Grounds or perform public-facing services on behalf of the University (covered contract workers) to disclose their vaccination status to their employers (i.e., the contracting vendor that employs them). Contracting vendors must certify to the University that covered contract workers are either 1) fully vaccinated; or 2) if not fully vaccinated, require that they adhere to all of the University’s public health safety protocols. Covered contract workers who are not vaccinated must follow all University COVID-19 mitigation measures as determined appropriate and directed by the University.

  2. Testing: Testing requirements apply to all students and Academic Division employees, excluding faculty and staff in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, the University Physicians Group and the Claude Moore Health System Library, who are governed by OCH-002: Occupational Health Screening and Maintenance.

    Regular testing of unvaccinated individuals is critical for keeping the University and the local community safe. Unvaccinated students (with an approved medical or religious exemption) and unvaccinated faculty and staff are subject to a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test once each week or as otherwise directed by the University.

    Testing exceptions will be granted for faculty and staff who:

    • Are both fully vaccinated with a WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) COVID-19 vaccine issued and have uploaded proof of vaccination;
    • Have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 150 days;
    • Are working remotely 100% of the time; or
    • Are working in a location outside the Charlottesville-Albemarle region.

    Failure to comply with testing requirements may result in disciplinary action in accordance with relevant University policies.

    Students who do not complete pre-arrival testing will not be permitted to come to Grounds before the beginning of each semester and will be disenrolled. Students who miss their weekly testing requirement will face a series of escalating consequences. Students may also face additional sanctions including referral to the Judiciary Committee, termination of housing contract, registration blocks, and disenrollment and dismissal from the University. The applicable University refund schedule in tuition, housing charges, or any other University fees at the time of dismissal or disenrollment will apply.

  3. Face Masks: Masks are required for all people (students, faculty, staff, contractors, and visitors), both vaccinated and unvaccinated, who enter UVA properties. This includes University-owned or leased public spaces like academic or administrative buildings, libraries, labs, dining halls, IM/Rec facilities, all UVA Health properties, and public transportation. This does not include dorms or private housing (including common areas within those spaces), or those alone within individual offices.

    Masks are required outdoors for unvaccinated people (students, faculty, staff, contractors, and visitors).


    • EATING, DRINKING: Masks are not required when actively eating or drinking.
    • TEACHING: Instructors may remove masks when teaching behind plexiglass barriers as long as they can maintain physical distance of at least six feet from students. Specific course-related exemptions to this policy will be handled by the schools, in consultation with the Provost’s Office.
    • AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) ACCOMMODATIONS: Some members of the University community may have pre-existing conditions that preclude them from wearing a mask; the relevant UVA office will evaluate requests for accommodation to determine whether there is a qualifying disability-related condition under ADA and a reasonable accommodation. Students with qualifying disability-related conditions can contact the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) to seek accommodations related to masking requirements. Employees with qualifying disability-related conditions can seek accommodations related to masking requirements by following the Procedures for Employees with Disabilities to Request Workplace Accommodations.
  4. Events and Gatherings: To reduce the risk of the potential spread of COVID-19, gatherings and events should be conducted outdoors if possible, and individuals should follow CDC guidelines for safe in-person gatherings and events.

  5. Visitors to the University: Visitors are allowed on Grounds and must comply with the face mask requirements listed above.

Compliance with Policy:

If a student violates the testing requirement:

  • First Missed Test: Students who miss one week of testing will receive a warning via email. This warning is not cause for disciplinary action. Because these are just warnings, there is not a process to appeal the warning. Students should ensure that they test weekly so they will not be subject to further sanctions.

  • Second Missed Test: If students miss a second week of testing, they will receive another warning via email and their school will be notified.

  • Third Missed Test: Students who miss a third week of testing will have their NetBadge access (or local equivalent) disabled. This means that the student’s access to websites, services, and applications protected by NetBadge will be disabled (such as email, SIS, and Collab). Furthermore, students who miss a third week of testing may not access University facilities or participate in University classes, programs, or activities in person until they test. Please note: If you are a graduate teaching assistant, research assistant, or student-worker, losing access to core systems may have an additional impact on your instruction or your ability to fulfill your work responsibilities.

    If a student’s NetBadge access has been disabled for failure to comply with the University’s COVID-19 testing program, the student can restore NetBadge access by getting tested. Students can view the current testing sites and times at Be SAFE. NetBadge restoration will be processed automatically after testing.

  • Fourth or More Missed Test: Students who miss four or more weeks of testing will continue to have their NetBadge access (or local equivalent) disabled and be subject to disciplinary action, including interim suspension, which could result in the forfeit of the entire semester and all associated tuition and fees.

If an employee fails to comply with testing requirements of this policy, it may result in disciplinary action in accordance with applicable University policies based on employee classification. Details on enforcement procedures for faculty and staff are available here.

If contract workers are not in compliance with this policy, the University will request contracting vendors remove the contract workers from the worksite until they are in compliance.

If a student violates the rules and requirements around University risk mitigation and public health measures, the violation(s) may result in the following consequences:

  • Minor violations – will ideally be addressed in the moment by an active bystander (e.g., offering a forgetful student a mask) and/or through an educational discussion (e.g., student meeting with residence life or other staff). The University encourages peer engagement and bystander intervention by faculty, staff, and students in training programs and other communications, consistent with our broader social norming campaign.
  • Serious violations – will be routed to the University Judiciary Committee (UJC) and also evaluated for immediate interim suspension by the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS); through this administrative process, ODOS can suspend a student from learning/activities or all enrollment. The interim suspension includes a no-trespass order from Grounds enforceable through the University Police Department. The definition of what is a “serious” violation will be fact-bound, though we expect it will include repeated violations by the same individual or organization and those that constitute a refusal to comply when warned or encouraged.
  • Widespread violations – will be a factor in determining whether and when to close the University to students and in-person classes and to request that students return home.

If an employee fails to comply with the rules and requirements around other risk mitigation and public health measures, it may result in disciplinary action in accordance with relevant University policies.

Effective Term of the Policy: We will continue to monitor 1) public health conditions, (including case counts, hospitalizations, and other conditions); 2) federal, state, local directives; and, 3) CDC and VDH guidelines closely and will adjust this policy as circumstances warrant in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

This policy will remain in effect until federal, state, local, and/or University directives deem that mitigation measures are no longer necessary or recommended to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Questions about this policy should be directed to Emergency Management, Environmental Health and Safety, or the Office of the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer.

Effective Date: 09/02/2021 Last Revised Date: 10/01/2021
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: President of the University
Major Category: Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Next Scheduled Review: 11/01/2021
Approved by, Date: President of the University, 09/02/2021
Revision History: Reviewed and revised next scheduled review date, added definition of University Property 10/1/21; Revised Compliance with Policy/contract workers 9/28/21; Removed covered contract workers from Section 1 Contractors and Section 2 9/14/21. New academic year policy 9/2/21.