The Collegian
Sunday, September 26, 2021

10

Current active cases

52

Total cumulative cases

96.2%

Reporting students vaccinated

93.0%

Reporting faculty/staff vaccinated

UPDATED: UR prepares for in-person fall semester; majority of population reported as fully vaccinated

<p>A student enters the Special Programs building, where prevalence tests are administered.</p>

A student enters the Special Programs building, where prevalence tests are administered.

The University of Richmond will transition to full in-person teaching and have the potential to open in the green or lime stage of its distancing protocol for the fall semester, Jeffrey Legro, executive vice president and provost, David Hale, executive vice president and chief operating officer and Steve Bisese, vice president for student development announced in an email sent to students, parents, faculty and staff in June. 

“Our top priorities remain ensuring an outstanding academic and student residential experience while promoting the health and safety of the community,” Legro, Hale and Bisese wrote. “We are confident we can achieve both together.”

No remote-study class options will be offered for the fall semester, and almost all classes will be in-person with the exception of classes that were previously taught online in the School of Professional & Continuing Studies, according to the email. 

Additionally, nearly 200 students will be studying abroad during the fall semester, according to the email.

Preparations for the semester include a staggered move in period with COVID-19 testing protocols. 

New students who are participating in transition programs before first-year orientation -- Appalachian Trail Adventure, Multicultural Pre-O and Roadmap to Success -- are scheduled to move in on Aug. 15 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m, according to a July 19 email from Bisese and Patrick Benner, director of residence life and housing. Check in will take place on the first floor of Tyler Haynes Commons, according to the email. 

Move-in day for new students not participating in transition programs will take place on Aug. 18, according to the email. 

Returning students living on and off campus must register to check in between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from Aug. 16 to Aug. 20 in the Special Programs Building, Bisese and Benner wrote. 

Approximately 94% of students had reported their vaccine status as of Aug. 6 and 98% of full-time faculty and staff had reported their status according to an Aug. 9 email sent by Hale, Legro and Vice President and General Counsel Shannon Sinclair. 

The vaccine rates are as follows:

  • 92.6% of the students who have reported their status are fully vaccinated; and
  • 91.4% of full-time faculty and staff who have reported their status are fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated students who submitted their vaccination information by Aug. 1 may register to check in on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22 with no need to participate in intake COVID-19 testing, according to the email.

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Students who are unvaccinated or did not report their vaccination status by Aug. 1 will have to undergo arrival testing between Aug. 16 and Aug. 20, Bisese and Benner wrote. Unvaccinated students will also undergo prevalence testing throughout the fall semester, Legro, Hale and Bisese wrote.

All students, faculty and staff will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine once a vaccine has full approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Legro, Hale and Bisese wrote. Exceptions will be given to those opposed for medical and religious reasons and those with strong personal convictions, according to the email. 

An exemption for strong personal convictions can include a person having a strong opposition to vaccines, Cynthia Price, associate vice president of media and public relations, wrote in an email to The Collegian on June 11.

Students who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated will have to wear masks indoors and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained, Legro, Hale and Bisese wrote. 

UR's mask policy, which adopts a risk-based approach, was updated in the Aug. 9 email sent to community members by Hale, Legro and Sinclair. Effective Aug. 16, masks will be required for everyone in Heilman Dining Center except when seated, at any indoor meeting or event where the attendance is 250 or above and, depending on the location and circumstances, events with attendance over 100 may require masking; in health care settings; on public transportation and in off-campus indoor public buildings.

Throughout the fall semester, faculty can require their students to wear masks in classrooms or labs, Legro, Hale and Bisese wrote.  

UR's Physical Distancing Framework will continue to be used and updated throughout the fall semester, which begins on Aug. 23 and ends on Dec. 17. Fall break and Thanksgiving break will be in place, according to the email.

Contact news writer Lauren Oligino at lauren.oligino@richmond.edu.

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