BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — After Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed several executive actions over the weekend — including one ending the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for state employees — Virginia Tech announced that university employees will no longer be required to receive the vaccine, report their vaccination status, or participate in mandatory testing.
However, the university says employees are still strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, get the booster dose when eligible, and report their vaccination status.
In addition, all of the current pandemic protocols are still in effect for Virginia Tech students, according to officials.
You can read President Tim Sand’s message — which was shared by Virginia Tech on Tuesday, Jan. 18 — below:
Dear Virginia Tech Faculty and Staff:
I hope you’re having as smooth a return to campus as Sunday’s burst of winter weather will allow. Over these last few days, it’s been great to see so much excitement among students and faculty about being back and beginning the spring semester at Virginia Tech. You made this possible, and I greatly value the work you do.
Over the weekend, Virginia’s new governor, Glenn Youngkin, issued several executive orders and directives as part of his first day in office. Among those, Executive Directive 2 impacts the application of certain COVID-19 policies to our classified employee workforce. To avoid differential treatment of employees in similar roles, all Virginia Tech employees will be included in this alignment and will no longer be required to be vaccinated, report their vaccination status to the university, or participate in mandatory testing.
These requirements are in accordance with Presidential Policy Memorandum 321 for faculty and staff and 320 for students. Testing will continue to be offered to employees on a voluntary basis. Masking policies remain in place, and all COVID policies remain in full effect for students.
We continue to strongly encourage all employees to be vaccinated and get a booster dose as soon as they are eligible, and to report their vaccination status to the university. Vaccines, including boosters, remain our best protection against COVID-19 and are especially important for public health. We are fortunate that our university community has already achieved a level of immunity that positions us as well as possible to fully maintain operations through the semester.
Adapting to change, staying flexible, and communicating transparently have been key to our successful operation through this pandemic to date. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work together to deliver on our commitment to a fulfilling, in-person spring semester at Virginia Tech.