Randolph College, University of Lynchburg announce mandatory vaccinations for fall 2021


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Two Lynchburg higher learning institutions — more specifically, Randolph College and the University of Lynchburg — announced on Thursday that coronavirus vaccinations will be required for students planning to attend the fall 2021 semester.

Randolph College sent the following statement to members of the collegiate community on Thursday, June 3:

Dear Randolph community members,

I am incredibly proud of our community for its commitment and perseverance this past academic year. Working and learning at a college during a global pandemic requires the dedication of everyone in order to create a safe environment and protect all members of our Randolph family. Thanks to each of you, we were able to successfully complete our spring semester in person. 

We believe vaccinations are key to keeping our community safe, healthy, and in person. In a residential setting such as ours, broad immunization is critical to help stop the current pandemic and to protect our College community. 

Therefore, in support of Randolph’s commitment to health and safety for all members of its community, we will require the COVID-19 vaccination for students. This health policy update means that, with limited exceptions, all students planning to attend in the fall 2021 semester must be fully vaccinated. Though we are not requiring the vaccination for employees at this time, we continue to strongly urge all Randolph faculty and staff to get immunized against COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity

Those who have approved medical or religious exemptions will not have to require proof of the vaccination. However, these individuals (including students, faculty, and staff) will be subject to mandatory, weekly COVID-19 testing during the academic year. In addition, these individuals will be required to wear a face covering, practice physical distancing, and adhere to quarantine requirements if exposed to the virus. Those students with issues obtaining the vaccine should contact Ruby Bryant, health center director, at rbryant@randolphcollege.edu as soon as possible.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Because the length of time for full efficacy can take as long as six weeks after the first shot, we recommend that students have their first shot no later than July 1, and earlier if you plan to be on campus before the regular move-in date. To find a vaccine center near you, please see https://www.vaccines.gov/. Information is also available about the vaccine on the CDC website. Details about how to submit vaccination records and move-in will be sent in the coming weeks. 

I thank each of you for helping us create the safest possible learning community. I look forward to returning in the fall to the vibrant, energetic campus environment that we enjoyed pre-COVID-19. Have a wonderful summer. 

The University of Lynchburg also shared their fall vaccination policy on Thursday, saying that the university “will return to the residential experience that is at the core of the Lynchburg experience.”

In order to make sure the campus community can return to pre-pandemic operations, the University of Lynchburg says vaccinations are required for all students, faculty, and staff. However, religious and medical exemptions will be permitted, in accordance with Virginia law.

In addition, school officials say the Lynchburg campus is open to all visitors, but any visitor who has not been vaccinated must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing.

“We fully expect and are planning for clubs, organizations, performing arts, intercollegiate and intramural and sports, and all other components of the student experience to return to more normal ways of gathering, recreating, and performing, in person and without restrictions,” the University of Lynchburg said in Thursday’s statement. “The COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet regularly and is following the guidance of the CDC and the governor’s office. Contingencies are in place should we need to respond to a return or spike of the virus on campus.”

Follow this link for more information about the University of Lynchburg’s Fall 2021 Opening Plans, which was last updated on Wednesday, June 2.

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