Ferrum College requiring face coverings indoors, strongly encouraging COVID-19 vaccines

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — With the first day of classes less than three weeks away for Ferrum College, school officials issued a statement on Friday addressing campus protocols for masks, vaccinations, classes, athletics, and more amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Ferrum College President David L. Johns, starting Monday, Aug. 9, all students, employees, and visitors are required to face coverings indoors — regardless of vaccination status — and strongly encouraged to wear them outdoors when social distancing is not possible or realistic.

In addition, Johns issued a strong recommendation, but not a requirement, for all members of the campus community to get vaccinated in order to help stop the spread of the virus. The campus is set to host a vaccination clinic in the near future, but you can also find a vaccine near you by clicking here.

You can read Johns’ full statement from Friday, Aug. 6 below:

“Panther Family:

I hope you are as excited as I am for a new year of connection, growth, and community. There are great opportunities for us in the months ahead, and I am eager to get underway. 

As we navigate through this pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we work together to follow the guidelines I am sharing with you today. Many of these guidelines are familiar to us by now, and exercising them together with civility and grace will benefit us all as we continue to live with our new normal.

We are stronger together. 

We are ready to welcome the entire Ferrum College family back to campus for the 2021-22 academic year — students, faculty, and staff. We’ll have some challenges along with our opportunities, to be sure, but as we have seen time and again, when we work together as one, we triumph as one. 

Last year, our hard work and determination paid off. Together, we kept each other safe and healthy, and we upheld our motto: not self, but others. I am proud of how well we did last year, and while the world is making progress, we are not wholly through this pandemic. I wish we were, but we are not. Thus, we will need to continue caring for each other, so we can continue spending time together. 


At this time, Ferrum College strongly encourages all members of our campus community to get vaccinated. We will host a vaccination clinic on campus soon, and urge all students, faculty, and staff (who are able) to get vaccinated. You can also find a vaccination location near you here. Vaccinations are available at no cost to you and they are our best defense in stopping the spread of this virus and getting back to normal.  

If you aren’t feeling well, get tested for COVID-19 at a pharmacy or health care provider’s office. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please refrain from participating in campus activities and get tested. Find a testing location near you here. In the future, additional testing may be required.

Face Coverings
As COVID-19 variants are now impacting both vaccinated and unvaccinated people: all students, employees, and visitors must wear face coverings while indoors at this time – regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are strongly recommended outdoors when social distancing is not feasible or realistic. 

We will communicate adjustments regarding face coverings if they change; we are hopeful vaccinated students and employees will not need to wear face coverings in the near future.

Continue to monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19. If you notice symptoms, find a testing site near you right away and get tested.  Students contact the Office of Student Life and Engagement. Employees contact Human Resources.

Classes and Campus Life
Most classes at Ferrum have returned to in-person instruction with some protocols from our previous semesters remaining in effect for the Fall. Some classes will be offered online or in a hybrid format. Reasonable accommodations will be available for those who cannot attend in-person due to quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. 

Key protocols: Face coverings while indoors and continued practice of social distancing. Face coverings are strongly recommended outdoors when social distancing is not feasible or realistic. 

The Dining Hall will be open for indoor dining and takeout options will be available. Dining Services employees and diners will need to follow College protocols regarding face coverings when not eating or drinking.

Events, Visitors, and Athletics
Everyone will be required to wear face coverings during indoor events.  For outdoor events where social distancing is not possible, face coverings will be strongly encouraged.

Ferrum College welcomes prospective students and their families, alumni, friends of the college, and vendors to campus. Face coverings are mandatory for all visitors while indoors and are strongly recommended outdoors if social distancing is not possible.

All Ferrum Athletics teams will be competing as scheduled, and student-athletes and athletic staff will follow conference guidance. Currently, spectators are permitted to attend games and must follow Ferrum College’s visitor protocols.

Continued Monitoring
Ferrum College will continue to monitor and adjust protocols based on campus and regional COVID-19 activity, as well as recommendations from the CDC, local department of health, and the Governor’s Office.

I want to thank you all in advance for your help with these guidelines. 

We all want to return to normal as quickly as possible, and we are nearly there — in person classes, athletics, campus events and activities; it is awesome to be back together! Let’s work together to squash this virus and maintain a campus environment that is safe and healthy for the entire Panther family. I strongly encourage all faculty, staff, and students to be vaccinated to help us avoid additional restrictions.  We are always stronger together, and I am looking forward to a dynamic and rewarding academic year. 

David L. Johns, Ph.D.

If you want to learn more about Ferrum College’s plans for the fall semester, follow this link.

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