The University of Mary Washington will require all students living, learning, or working on campus to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to campus for the Fall 2021 term.
Why is UMW requiring that students be vaccinated?
UMW joins hundreds of other universities nationwide in requiring students to be vaccinated as a means of protecting the health of the community, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Research continues to support the safety and efficacy – along with extreme effectiveness – of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organization (WHO). Widespread vaccination is the best tool we have to ensure that UMW can return to a full in-person academic and social environment in the fall of 2021.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:23 am
What are the benefits of having all students vaccinated?
Among other things,
- It creates a more secure environment for UMW community members by drastically reducing the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks on campus;
- It helps alleviate anxiety and discomfort among members of the campus community who are fearful of COVID-19;
- It helps to provide clarity about the upcoming academic year;
- It may help contribute to the reduction of COVID-19 spread in the surrounding Fredericksburg community;
- It reflects the University’s support of and contribution to a larger public health endeavor with global implications; and
- It provides a clear signal to prospective, new, and current students and their families about the importance of everybody’s wellbeing at UMW.
Will faculty and staff be required to be vaccinated?
UMW expects that all employees will be vaccinated. We are strongly encouraged by the fact that more than 70% have already done so. Employees who do not meet this expectation will participate in daily attestation and weekly COVID-19 prevalence testing.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:27 am
What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?
Public health officials consider an individual to be fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:26 am
Do I need to be vaccinated if I have already had COVID-19?
Yes. Anyone who previously had COVID-19 will still be required to be vaccinated. The immunity acquired post-infection lasts only about 90 days.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:27 am
I’m a student, what if I don’t want to be vaccinated or don’t believe in vaccinations?
There will be two permitted exemptions to the University’s vaccination requirement that would still allow a student to participate in person. These are the same exceptions for every mandated vaccine at UMW and they must be submitted to the Student Health Center.
If a religious or medical exemption is granted, will students have to undergo any other steps?
Unlike vaccinated students, those who file a medical or religious waiver will need to participate in entry testing and weekly prevalence testing as well as daily attestation in the Eagle Health Journal. If they are exposed to a COVID-19 case, they will need to quarantine.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:29 am
What happens if students fail to produce proof of vaccination or an approved exemption?
Access to residence halls (for residential students) and University IT systems (for residential and nonresidential students) will be prohibited until either a vaccination record or an exemption is filed and verified with the Student Health Center.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:31 am
What if students are enrolled but do not plan to access any UMW campus, facility, or event?
UMW will offer an opt-out waiver to students who agree never to seek access to a UMW campus or facility; however, the University will not provide separate online options for in-person classes for students who do not wish to receive the vaccine.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:31 am
Are employees required to share proof of vaccination?
To be clear, UMW is expecting employees to get vaccinated but not mandating that they get vaccinated. Employees can opt out of offering proof of vaccination, but this means accepting daily attestation and regular prevalence testing in the fall semester – likely least once a week.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:32 am
If an employee refuses to get the vaccine what will happen with their job?
No employment action will be taken, they will, however, be required to be tested weekly.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:33 am
What if I lost my vaccination card?
Contact the provider through which you received your vaccination(s) to obtain replacement proof of vaccination.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:35 am
What vaccines are accepted?
Any vaccine approved in the U.S., including Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen will be accepted. UMW will work with students who have been vaccinated abroad as well as international students who do not have access to vaccines approved in the US.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:37 am
How do I submit my proof of vaccination?
What if I have other questions about the vaccine or this policy?
Much is still to be determined about the fall, but please submit your questions to email@example.com. Additionally, in the coming weeks we will put together a panel of campus experts to answer further questions about the vaccines.Last updated: May 26, 2021 11:38 am
Who can I contact with questions about testing?
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions about testing.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:32 pm
Who is doing the testing?
UMW has contracted with Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC) to provide mandatory entry and prevalence testing in Spring 2021.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:31 pm
What test is being administered?
MWHC will be testing students using rapid antigen tests. Based upon availability, this will include either the Abbott BinaxNow or the BD Veritor.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:31 pm
If I have received the vaccine, do I still need to participate in prevalence testing?
Yes. For a variety of reasons including, uncertain science about transmissibility even with vaccination, the fact that vaccination is at best 95% efficacious, and that maximum immunity takes some time to build up even after the second dose.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:30 pm
If I have received the vaccine, could I test positive in prevalence testing?
No, the vaccine will not cause you to test positive. Receipt of the vaccine will not affect the result of the prevalence test which is looking for active infection, not immunity.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:30 pm
Who is required to participate in testing?
All students who plan to access the campus in Spring 2021 and/or will be close contacts to other members of the UMW community must have a negative entry test and participate prevalence testing when called to do so.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:29 pm
May I request an exemption from prevalence testing?
Yes, if you agree that you will never access campus for any reason in Spring 2021 and will not be in close contact with other members of the UMW community. You can do so here.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:29 pm
What happens if I don’t participate in prevalence testing?
Failure to comply with the Spring 2021 pledge and the UMW’s testing expectations is a student conduct matter subject to a range of possible consequences.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:25 pm
If I’ve had COVID in the last 90 days, do I still need to test?
Yes. However, we recognize that you may still test positive. Please bring documentation of your prior positive test (including the date your test was administered). If you receive a positive result, you will work with UMW staff in the Anderson Center to determine the next step which will depend on the length of time that has passed since you tested positive. Further information about UMW isolation protocols can be found on the spring testing protocols page.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:24 pm
If I am in quarantine, do I need to test?
No. Please do not come to the Anderson Center and/or access campus until you have cleared the quarantine period. You should get in contact with Betsy Southern (email@example.com) and Dave Fleming (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let them know that you are in quarantine.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:22 pm
If I am experiencing symptoms, should I test?
No. Please do not come to the Anderson Center and/or access campus. Call the Student Health Center or your primary care provider for a telehealth appointment. You should remain in quarantine until cleared by a medical professional.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:21 pm
If I test positive, will I be given a PCR test to determine accuracy?
Yes. MWHC will provide an on-site PCR test to all students whose rapid test results in a positive at the Anderson Center. Students who test positive but are awaiting PCR confirmation will be presumed positive and will be provided with directions for next steps. Further information about UMW testing protocols can be found on the spring testing protocols page.Last updated: January 28, 2021 5:20 pm
Masks and Face Coverings
Who do I contact if my supervisor or a faculty member is not wearing a mask?
Where do I report a concern related to COVID-19? Can it be anonymous?
There are several options for reporting concerns such as an individual who is not wearing a mask/face covering on campus. You may fill out the COVID Concern Form, contact Human Resources, a Resident Assistant, or your supervisor. There is an anonymous reporting option on the COVID Concern Form; however, anonymous reports may limit our ability to respond.Last updated: August 19, 2020 4:30 pm
What if a student attends class without a mask/face covering?
If a student is not wearing a mask or face covering, remind the student that a mask or face covering is required inside buildings and in the classroom. Faculty will not have extra masks. There will be disposable masks available at key places on campus including the University Center (UC) information desk on the Fredericksburg campus. At the Dahlgren and Stafford campuses masks will be available at the front desks. Students who are not wearing a mask/face covering will not be permitted into the classroom. If they are unable to obtain a mask/face covering immediately, students should be reminded to leave the building, to obtain a mask/face covering before returning, and follow-up for class assignments.
Please report any concerns via the COVID Concern Form.Last updated: August 19, 2020 4:27 pm
What if I am unable to wear a mask/face covering as required due to medical or religious reasons?
University offices listed below assist students, faculty, staff, and supervisors to determine reasonable accommodations to meet academic and work obligations without being inside buildings or in the company of others.
What if I disapprove of wearing a mask?
While the university respects individual opinions, the CDC and VDH determined that a mask/face covering is the most important tool to slow the spread of the virus. In the interest of the wellbeing of the university community, we are committed to optimal measures to mitigate risk for the greater good of all, including our families. UMW considers requiring a face covering/mask minimally intrusive and justified by the significance of the University’s interest in helping to stop the spread of this highly contagious and deadly virusLast updated: August 7, 2020 2:35 pm
Who do I contact if my roommate or another individual in the residence halls is not following the guidance?
There are several options for reporting a concern in the residence halls including contacting your resident assistant, contacting the Office of Residence Life and Housing, and/or filling out the COVID Concern Form. If student residents are in their residence hall room alone or with an assigned roommate (member of their “family unit”) they are not required to wear mask/face coverings. If there are others in the room and social distancing is not possible, face coverings/masks are required.Last updated: August 7, 2020 2:29 pm
How will the face mask/covering be enforced?
Noncompliance with the university’s face covering policy, may pose a threat to the wellbeing of others, subject to progressive remediation under university and state conduct policy.Last updated: August 7, 2020 2:09 pm
What happens if I report a concern through the COVID Concern Form?
The University takes all reports seriously and will route the concern to the appropriate office for review and resolution. Due to privacy considerations, the University may not be able to provide information on the response taken to address the concern.Last updated: August 7, 2020 2:08 pm
Eagle Health Survey
What happens if I don’t complete the survey?
This is an important tool and we EXPECT everyone to comply. In fact, widespread, regular compliance is part of our “gating” criteria.
Faculty and staff: Your supervisor will be notified if you go a number of days without attesting.
Students: Daily attestation will be monitored by COVID Coordinator Betsy Southern, who will contact you if you are not attesting.Last updated: December 18, 2020 10:29 am
How will the results be used? Who has access to the data?
The information collected from the COVID-19 Daily Journal will be used to connect individuals with recommended resources based on symptoms, and it will help our COVID Team coordinators understand the overall current health trends at the University. Information will be shared only with the response teams working to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 virus, in accordance with the provisions of the COVID-19 HIPAA Bulletin.
Collected data is securely transferred from the COVID-19 health assessment tool to a campus server which provides HIPAA compliant infrastructure to analyze data. Once the data has been anonymized and moved to aggregate results tables in Microsoft Power BI, it is destroyed.Last updated: December 18, 2020 10:28 am
What if I don’t see the daily survey in my email?
Check your spam or junk folder for the email. You can reset the parameters to allow these emails (“noreply@qualtrics”) emails. If you still don’t see it, email Debra Schleef at email@example.com.Last updated: August 19, 2020 5:35 pm
I’m a faculty or staff member. What if I am on vacation or furlough?
You need to take the survey on work days. If you are on vacation or furlough, or any other day you do not work, you will still get the email (there is no way to account for all the variations in work schedules). On weekend or vacation days, you may decide not to attest, as your supervisor will know of your status and can exclude you from the non-compliance follow-ups.
Again, our goal is to get members of the UMW community into the habit of completing the survey each morning.Last updated: August 19, 2020 5:18 pm
Do I have to attest on days that I am not coming to campus?
Yes. We would like for everyone to get in the habit of completing the survey each day. You never know if you may end up stopping by campus or be called in.Last updated: August 19, 2020 5:15 pm
What is the Eagle Health Survey? Who has to fill it out? When? Why?
All members of the Mary Washington community — faculty, staff, and students — will receive the Eagle Health Survey in an email each morning, and everyone is expected to complete it on a daily basis. It takes only seconds, and it holds the key to reducing the impact of COVID-19 in our community.
The Eagle Health Survey follows a model used at other Virginia institutions; however, the UMW version has simplified and limited the amount of data being collected. The data collection is minimal — only self-reports of symptoms and exposure. The request is to identify symptoms related to COVID-19; it is not a diagnostic tool.
The daily survey, or attestation, is a reminder that it is important to evaluate COVID-19 symptoms before going to/engaging on campus each day. Second, we are required by the Governor’s office as part of our return to campus plan to demonstrate a culture of adherence to sound public health principles (including staying away from others when you are sick). Survey rates are one way that we are assessing this adherence.Last updated: August 19, 2020 5:11 pm
Is it okay to attest before my shift or class if it starts later in the day and not in the AM?
Yes.Last updated: August 7, 2020 2:42 pm