Vanderbilt updates COVID-19 protocols to comply with executive order

Vanderbilt University has updated its COVID-19 health and safety protocols in accordance with a new executive order issued by the White House. As part of the federal government’s “Path Out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan,” the executive order requires organizations with federal contracts, including Vanderbilt, to comply with certain masking and physical distancing protocols. The requirements extend to all employees of federal contractors, which includes all Vanderbilt faculty, staff and postdocs, and to visitors on campus.

Signs have been posted throughout campus as a reminder of the updated protocols. The most current and complete information about the university’s protocols is also available on the health and safety website.

The executive order requires the following measures in areas of high or substantial community transmission, which currently includes Davidson County.

  • Masks are now required for fully vaccinated individuals indoors, including in common areas or shared workspaces (open-floor plan offices, cubicles and conference rooms) even when physical distancing is possible. Masks are not required when alone in an office or for a limited time while eating or drinking and maintaining physical distancing. Guidance for students’ residence hall rooms remains the same.
  • Masks are now required for individuals who are not fully vaccinated in crowded outdoor settings (athletic events, concerts, gatherings) or during outdoor activities that involve sustained close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated. They also should maintain physical distance from others at all times, to the extent practicable. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated also continue to be required to mask indoors as described above.

Since the above protocols are tied to the community transmission level in Davidson County, Vanderbilt will continue to monitor the CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracker County View and update the university’s protocols should the community transmission level reach a sustained moderate or low level.

The university requires that all students, postdocs, faculty and staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved accommodation. The university will continue to follow the latest scientific updates and develop its plans in close consultation with experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, as well as national, state and local public health officials.