COVID-19 protocols update

Dear Vanderbilt community,

On Friday, I shared that a recent federal court ruling and related state action have the potential to affect the university’s COVID-19 protocols, including our ability to require that our students, faculty and staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

We know that our vaccine requirement and our robust testing program have been highly successful in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our university community. In the face of this evidence and after closely evaluating the requirements of these recent legal actions, the university has determined that for the remainder of the fall semester it will require all faculty, staff and students to either participate in routine on-campus COVID-19 testing or provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. We will continue to assess our protocols in light of the evolving nature of the pandemic and any changes to the legal landscape.

Those who choose to provide proof of vaccination and have already submitted their vaccination status will not need to resubmit their vaccination record. Those who had approved accommodations from the vaccination requirement will initially be assigned to the testing option unless they choose to provide proof of vaccination instead.

We will also continue our sentinel testing program, in which a randomly chosen statistically significant portion of our entire population is selected each week for COVID-19 testing. Those selected for sentinel testing will be notified by email.

The masking, physical distancing and quarantine and isolation protocols that we announced at the beginning of the fall semester will also continue.

The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities is a top priority, and we continue to make decisions based on the recommendations of our colleagues at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and public health experts.

Thank you again for stepping up to keep our community as safe as possible.

Eric Kopstain
Vice Chancellor for Administration