Chancellor, Provost share message with important COVID-19 information for fall semester

Dear Vanderbilt community,

As we begin this semester, more than 95 percent of us have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We thank you for stepping up and getting vaccinated—the most effective layer of protection against COVID-19. That said, we know that breakthrough infections are happening and that members of our community remain vulnerable to exposure.

As we begin this fall semester, it is up to each of us to keep our community as safe as possible and ensure our ability to pursue our mission in person and on campus by following our health and safety protocols.

  • Masks are required indoors on campus, except when physical distancing can be maintained. Roommates who are vaccinated are not required to wear masks when together in their residence hall room or suite.
  • Masks should be worn at all times in dining locations except when actively eating or drinking.
  • Masking and physical distancing should be practiced when indoors or around large groups off campus, where vaccination rates are much lower than on campus.
  • If you notice someone not following the masking protocol, politely remind them to mask up and physically distance. Doing so is the responsibility of each one of us. Procedures are in place to address significant violations by students, faculty or staff. Learn more about how to address noncompliance.
  • Unvaccinated individuals who have received an accommodation are required to participate in asymptomatic weekly testing. We monitor the available data and analyze cases to identify trends and respond quickly.
  • As always, if you are experiencing symptoms, you should seek assessment and testing as soon as possible and quarantine until you receive your results.

Thanks to each of you, we had no documented transmission of the virus in our classrooms last year and avoided the major outbreaks seen at other institutions. We are all in this together, and it will take each one of us to continue that success.

Updates and information about COVID-19 will be shared every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the MyVU newsletter. Our Health and Safety Protocols website contains detailed information and answers to frequently asked questions and is continuously updated with new information.

We encourage you to learn as much as you can about the virus from our experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. They have helped lead the way, and are continuing to break new ground every day, in the fight against disease. Learn more about the latest COVID-19 science and research in our Ask an Expert video series.

By making smart choices, following protocols and supporting one another, this semester is one full of promise. We are counting on each of you to do your part.


Daniel Diermeier

C. Cybele Raver
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs