COVID-19 nearly forced the cancellation of the 2020 college football season. Fortunately, some conferences rallied together to give fans a season last fall despite the uncertainty of the virus.
Now, with the virus more under control due to vaccinations being available for all Americans, most pro and college teams have announced they expect full capacity at stadiums in the fall after record losses in 2020.
Virginia Tech expects to have Lane Stadium rocking this fall, although nothing is official at this time. On Tuesday, Virginia Tech President Tim Sands took a step toward a full Lane Stadium by announcing COVID vaccinations would be required for students this fall.
In his statement, Sands said staff and faculty are “encouraged” to get the vaccine.
Here are parts of Sands’ statement:
Vaccinations will be required for all students attending Virginia Tech in the fall, with exemptions for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs. During the past two semesters, we weathered significant surges in COVID-19 cases in Blacksburg. We did this through robust testing, self-quarantine, masking, and physical distancing. We must do everything possible to avoid repeating the challenges of the last 14 months, and to ensure that students who cannot be vaccinated are able to participate in campus life and in-person learning. It is essential that every student who can be vaccinated, is vaccinated.
Students should visit this site for more information about vaccination requirements, confirming vaccination status, and requesting an exemption. The deadline for students to report that they have received the full course of vaccine doses (one or two, depending on the vaccine) is Aug. 6, 2021.
Virginia Tech employees are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. The need and frequency of testing for unvaccinated employees will be determined based on the risk an individual’s position presents to the community. In an employee survey last semester, nearly 90 percent of respondents reported being vaccinated. This response and the low prevalence of infection for employees in high-contact roles throughout the most recent semester give us confidence that the risk to and from employees will be relatively low and manageable if nearly everyone is vaccinated. The deadline for reporting the completion of the full course of vaccination doses is Aug. 15. More information about confirming vaccination status and requesting exceptions can be found here.
We know that some, regardless of vaccination status, may prefer to limit their risk further by continuing to wear masks while around others. We respect and support that personal decision.