Fully vaccinated faculty, staff at ODU no longer required to wear masks; guidance for students to come

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Posted at 8:57 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 20:57:22-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Fully vaccinated faculty and staff at Old Dominion University will no longer have to wear masks or practice social distancing inside or outside on campus.

This announcement was sent in a campus-wide email to the Monarch community that was shared with News 3 on Wednesday.

People who are fully vaccinated will also be exempt from the university's COVID-19 screening program and daily check-in process.

Rules for students are yet to come.

Face masks are still required of for anyone entering Student Health Services, any COVID-19 screening or sample collection area and the COVID Lab.

Monarchs are also asked to be mindful of local businesses or public transportation that may also still require face coverings.

University officials say the decision is based on updated public health guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Gov. Ralph Northam's office and after consultation with health experts inside and outside ODU. On May 14, Gov. Northam announced the state will lift its universal indoor mask mandate for fully vaccinated people, following updated CDC guidelines.

People are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-dose Johnson and Johnson Janssen vaccine.

ODU officials say anyone who is not fully vaccinated will still have to wear masks indoors and outdoors on campus when they cannot maintain physical distancing guidelines.

The rules may differ for those in the health professions, who should seek guidance from their supervisors and advisers.

Fully vaccinated people may continue wearing masks if they wish to do so, and university officials say they fully support their continued use.

All Monarchs are encouraged to get vaccinated to protect their health and the health of those around them.

The university is updating its COVID-19 policy to reflect these changes. In-person classes are expected to resume in the fall.

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