According to a statement released on Saturday, the University of Virginia has disenrolled students who did not comply with the school’s Covid-19 vaccine requirement. The institution prepares to welcome back undergraduate students for in-person classes on Monday.
At least 238 students, including 49 students who were enrolled in fall courses, were disenrolled this week after “receiving multiple reminders via email, text, phone calls, calls to parents that they were out of compliance,” university spokesperson Brian Coy told The Virginian-Pilot on Friday.
That may mean that “a good number” of the remaining students “may not have been planning to return to the University this fall at all,” Coy said.
The vast majority of students returning to campus have been immunized. According to a university press release, more than 96 percent of students have already received the Covid-19 vaccine. The school did however make some exceptions for religious or medical reasons.
For students with religious or medical exemptions, the university granted 335 permanent vaccine waivers. The school also provided 184 temporary vaccine waivers to students who could not get vaccinated at home but intended to get the vaccine done once on campus.
The majority of university employees and faculty members have also been immunized. According to WVIR, NBC’s Charlottesville affiliate, 93 percent of all university employees and 96 percent of classroom faculty are fully vaccinated.
Students and exempt staff must be tested weekly and wear a mask in indoor and outdoor common areas. Students who want to get vaccinated but can’t find a vaccine can contact student affairs. “That’s kind of a case-by-case thing within student affairs. As time passes, those opportunities grow fewer because classes are about to start,” Coy told WVIR on Thursday, adding that the school will not be providing virtual classes for students who do not want to be vaccinated since all students are expected to study in person.
Students who meet the vaccine requirement or file an exemption form by Wednesday will be able to re-enroll. According to school officials, high vaccination rates on campus have allowed them to reintroduce events like football games and other welcome events to kick off the fall semester.
The university and public health leaders will continue to monitor Covid-19 cases within the community and reevaluate the temporary masking policy by Sept 6. Currently, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people must wear masks indoors on university property, except inside dorms and private housing or when people are alone in closed spaces, such as an office.