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University of Virginia to mandate coronavirus vaccines for students returning in the fall

The University of Virginia announced Thursday that students returning for the fall semester will be required to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

“All students who live, learn, or work in person at the University during the next academic year must be fully vaccinated before returning to Grounds, starting July 1,” said university President Jim Ryan in a message posted on the school’s website.

Students are required to upload proof of their vaccination to a health care-based website hosted by the school no later than Thursday, July 1, 2021.

According to Ryan, students will be allowed to seek a medical or religious exemption to the vaccination requirement, but if they do so, they will be subjected to weekly tests in order to remain on campus.

Last week, the school announced it would no longer require those on campus who are fully vaccinated to wear masks both indoors and outdoors “in alignment with new guidance from the CDC and Governor.”

“Our plans for the coming academic year include a return to the residential academic experience that is so central to life at UVA,” said Ryan. He noted freshmen will “once again be expected to live on-Grounds with very limited exceptions, and dining, transportation, IM-Rec, and other important elements of University life will return to pre-pandemic operations.”

“We expect that clubs, organizations, performing arts, intramural sports, and other important parts of the student experience will also be able to return to more normal ways of meeting, performing, and playing together in-person,” Ryan said.

According to an analysis by the Chronicle of Higher Education, no public flagship university in a state carried by Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election has mandated vaccinations for its students.

Ryan’s statement was co-signed by Executive Vice President and Provost Liz Magill, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis, and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. K. Craig Kent.

MORE: University of Virginia considers reparations for descendants of slave laborers

IMAGE: Joseph Sohm / Shuttersock.com

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About the Author
Senior Reporter
Christian focuses on investigative, enterprise and analysis reporting. He is the author of "1916: The Blog" and has spent time as a political columnist at USA Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and National Review Online. His op-eds have been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, City Journal, Weekly Standard and National Review. He has also been a frequent guest on political television and radio shows. He holds a master’s degree in political science from Marquette University and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.