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Public Health Guidelines: Student Education and Enforcement

Published 07/29

Guiding Philosophy

By welcoming students back to campus, the university commits to providing them a robust academic, residential, and co-curricular experience. This commitment includes supporting differing perspectives and educating students (particularly those traditionally-aged undergraduates) as they learn to live and make decisions independently. It also includes upholding community values and prioritizing safety through the lens of Ut Prosim—namely, that taking individual responsibility for abiding by public-health guidelines is service to others. Therefore, we must approach the enforcement of public-health requirements and guidelines using a developmental and educational lens and a range of intervention options and in partnership with students, faculty, staff, and the broader community.

Guiding Assumptions

  • Public-health directives from Governor Northam, including Executive Order 63 and Phase III guidelines for all locations and individuals include the following: 1) wearing a face covering inside public spaces, 2) physical distancing, 3) limited occupancy of physical space.
  • The Community Wellness Agreement expresses the community’s shared commitment to mitigating health risks by committing to specific measures, including wearing face coverings/masks, practicing social distancing and good hygiene, following public-health guidelines and medical recommendations for testing and self-isolation, etc.
  • The Residential Life COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Commitment, signed by all on-campus residents, requires students to wear masks in a residence hall, with some exceptions; to practice physical distancing; to engage in preventative hygiene practices; to avoid public spaces if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and to contact a medical provider; and to self-isolate as directed by a medical professional.
  • Housing and Residence Life will provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and isolation spaces, when necessary.
  • Students who indicate that they have a medical condition that precludes them from wearing a mask cannot be held accountable for non-compliance, nor do they have to have documentation or accommodations from SSD. However, staff may explore other options with them (e.g., face shields, loose scarves, etc.).
  • Additional university guidance outlines additional requirements for student participation in and hosting of events on campus.
  • Guidance/requirements are subject to change in response to the dynamic environment and public-health directives.

Read further for intervention guidelines and scenarios in the Public Health Guidelines: Student Education and Enforcement (PDF).