Radford University strongly encourages students to get vaccinated


RADFORD, Va. (WFXR) — Radford University is strongly encouraging students to get vaccinated against the coronavirus before returning to campus for the fall semester.

More specifically, in an email sent out Friday, May 21, President Brian Hemphill said, “All Highlanders are strongly encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as it is our best individual and collective defense in combating the impacts of the global health pandemic.”

In addition, Hemphill says masks are no longer required in the main campus facilities for those who are fully-vaccinated, but face coverings will still be required on public transit, in health care facilities, and congregate settings.

The university expects to provide an update to the previously-shared operational plans for the summer and fall semesters by June 15.

You can read the full message sent by Hemphill to the Radford University main campus community below:

Dear Radford Family:

As the summer is in full swing, I am reaching out to share an important update on COVID-19 planning and response. Effective immediately, in accordance with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and action by the Commonwealth of Virginia, face coverings are not required in Radford University facilities on the main campus for those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with limited exceptions as noted below. Fully vaccinated means being 14 days past a final vaccine dose, either the single or second depending upon the vaccine type. Signage on the main campus is being updated to reflect this change.

It is important to note that, on the main campus, access to certain areas and services will still require the wearing of a face covering regardless of an individual’s COVID-19 vaccine status. Such instances include public transit, health care facilities, and congregate settings in which any masking requirement will be clearly marked by signage. Specific examples include Radford Transit, the Student Health Center located in Moffett Hall, and the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic located in Waldron Hall. Compliance in these instances – and any others that are marked as such with official University signage – is required for individuals age 5 and older in order to access such areas and services.

At this time, the masking requirement remains in full effect and unchanged for Radford University Carilion (RUC) as it operates in a health care facility, specifically Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital. University officials continue to engage with state leaders and Carilion Clinic officials and will advise students, faculty, and staff of any changes regarding masking at RUC.

Regardless of location, individuals age 5 and older who are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated should wear a face covering consistent with federal guidance and state actions. For additional information about these recent changes at the federal and state levels, please refer to Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People, as well as seventh amended Executive Order 72 and Executive Order 79.

All Highlanders are strongly encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as it is our best individual and collective defense in combating the impacts of the global health pandemic. As regulations and restrictions are being lifted, we are returning to more of our pre-pandemic daily activities and regular engagements. We ask for your flexibility, patience, and understanding during this transitional period as we return to our normal mode of operations with a measured approach.

In remaining fully committed to the health, safety, and well-being of all Highlanders, the University is thoroughly reviewing the previously-announced Summer 2021 Operational Plan as distributed on March 15, 2021 and Fall 2021 Semester Operational Plan as distributed on April 2, 2021. As we are thoughtfully, but quickly, making assessments and determinations regarding next steps, a comprehensive update regarding any changes to these plans, as well as any other important announcements and relevant information, will be provided to the campus and broader community no later than June 15, 2021.

With Highlander Pride,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.

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