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VCU to Require Vaccination for Returning Students

For the fall semester: Vaccination will be required for all students who live, learn, work or will be on campus for any reason (excluding those with religious or health exemptions).

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VCU made the following announcement outlining their plans.

Together, the VCU community made this academic year a success. Now, with COVID-19 cases declining and vaccinations rising, it is time to prepare for a robust and engaged on-campus learning, living and working experience this fall. As we prepare, we continue putting your health, safety and well-being at the forefront of every decision.

The following decisions were made with input from VCU’s Public Health Response Team and the VCU community. They are consistent with guidance from the Virginia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College Health Association and decisions announced by peer institutions in Virginia. Please be kind and patient with one another as we adjust to this new phase together as One VCU.

Vaccination

Vaccines are now widely available and have proven to be some of the safest, most reliable and effective vaccines in history. Public health experts tell us that vaccination is the best way to help keep ourselves and our community safe.

  • For the fall semester: Vaccination will be required for all students who live, learn, work or will be on campus for any reason (excluding those with religious or health exemptions). Survey results show strong majorities of students, parents, faculty and staff support this requirement. Students attending fall classes must report their vaccination to University Student Health Services no later than July 15; Health Sciences students and those taking summer classes should receive and report their vaccinations sooner, if possible. Students who receive a two-dose vaccination must report completion of both doses. This requirement will allow our students to safely learn, live, gather and experience college at its best. For more information about full vaccination, documentation requirements, religious and health exemptions, and vaccine manufacturers, see the student vaccine FAQ.
  • Students who receive vaccination exemptions must follow safety guidelines for their health and for the health of our community, including but not limited to: wearing a mask, routine surveillance testing, completing daily health checks, and continuing to follow public safety measures including quarantine procedures. Entry Pass requirements will apply and entry will be allowed if the proper public health measures are followed.
  • Vaccinated students are exempt from masking, daily health checks, surveillance testing and quarantine requirements. Entry Pass requirements will continue to apply; however, your Entry Pass will default to a green check.

If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccination, you can make an appointment on-campus through University Student Health Services or at a provider near you (search vaccine availability at www.vaccines.gov).

Public health and safety measures (effective immediately)

Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 79, effective as of midnight on May 28, lifted many of the restrictions we have been operating under during the pandemic and signifies significant progress in the fight against COVID-19. The following changes are consistent with the changes in the executive order and are effective immediately.

  • Physical distancing: There are no longer physical distancing requirements or density restrictions in campus spaces. This is applicable to classes, events, meetings, research laboratories and gatherings. Facilities and signage will be updated over the summer to reflect this change. Although classrooms are currently set at 66 percent capacity for the fall semester, colleges and schools may increase course capacity as needed. Unvaccinated community members and visitors must follow CDC guidelines for indoor and outdoor activities.
  • Masks: Masks are not required for those who are vaccinated, but remain required for those who are not vaccinated and required for everyone (vaccinated orunvaccinated) in the following settings:
    • Congregate housing: Specifically, masks are required in all common areas of VCU residence halls
    • Health care settings at VCU (e.g., University Student Health Services, University Counseling, VCU Health System owned, operated or leased spaces, etc.)
    • Whenever accommodations for immune-compromised community members may be necessary
  • Vaccinated community members who wish to wear a mask out of an abundance of caution are encouraged to do so.
  • Contact tracing, surveillance testing and enhanced cleaning will continue throughout the fall semester. Masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies will be available in vending machines and common areas. The MYCOVID call center, which can be reached at 804-MYCOVID (804-692-6843), will remain operational and continue to connect VCU community members to testing and quarantine/isolation guidance.

The responsibility you demonstrated over the past year proves that we as the VCU community can face and overcome the most difficult challenges. While we know VCU can safely and successfully navigate this new phase together, we all must remain flexible. Should conditions change, or should new information require us to pivot again, we will.

Please continue to monitor the One VCU: Better Together website and email updates for the most current information about university operations.

Our community has proven that we’re responsible together – showing respect and care for each other. Continuing to do so will allow us to be Better Together this fall. Thank you for all you continue to do to take care of yourself and each other.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

Community

Harry Potter Themed Frozen Custard Tonight

Head over to the Westover Hill United Methodist Church. The custard truck will be in the lot on the corner of Westover Hill Blvd and King William Road.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Community

VCU Announces Kopacsi Returning to The Peppas

In Pep Band News this is a really big deal. Kopacsi previously led The Peppas from 1998-2016 and garnered national attention for the raucous band.

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VCU Athletics made the announcement a couple days ago.

Ryan Kopacsi will return as director of the VCU Pep Band, The Peppas, VCU Vice President and Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin announced Tuesday.

“Ryan and I share the same vision of making our gameday atmosphere the best in the country – college or pro. We have seen the pivotal role that The Peppas play in creating that atmosphere. After many discussions, we both knew the time was right for him to return to VCU and re-energize our talented students in The Peppas and our fans. I know our fans will welcome him home like we have in VCU Athletics,” McLaughlin said.

A native of Varina, Va., Kopacsi previously led The Peppas from 1998-2016, a period in which the boisterous ensemble earned a reputation as one of the best pep bands in the country with energetic performances to a perpetually sold-out Stuart C. Siegel Center, as well as to national audiences.

For those with short memories or unfamiliar the reason for leaving back in 2016 was money aka contract dispute.

CBS6 story from June 20th, 2016

Kopacsi said he came to the decision after failed contract negotiations with VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin.

“Me and the AD have discussed contracts for weeks and cannot agree on vision, trajectory, and time frame. I’m disappointed to say the least in the decision of the administration to sacrifice all of what The Peppas bring to our players, our fans, our university, and our city.

There is no denying that the Peppas are a force to be reckoned with.

Behind the scenes from 2014 when Ryan Kopasci was with the band.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Downtown

Library of Virginia bringing Dopesick author Beth Macy to Richmond for the Carole Weinstein Author Series

Beth Macy is a Virginia-based journalist, the author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America, and an executive producer and cowriter on Hulu’s Peabody Award–winning Dopesick series.

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The Library of Virginia continues its 2022 Carole Weinstein Author Series talks with New York Times best-selling author Beth Macy. Macy will discuss Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis, the much anticipated follow-up to her internationally acclaimed book and Amazon series Dopesick. Carole Weinstein Author Series talks are free and open to the public. Registration is required for in-person attendance. To register, click here.

The event takes place Tuesday, August 23rd from 6:00–7:30 p.m.at the Library of Virginia Lecture Hall. It will also be livestreamed.

Beth Macy is a Virginia-based journalist, the author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America, and an executive producer and cowriter on Hulu’s Peabody Award–winning Dopesick series.

For more than 25 years, Macy has been reporting on stories from the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia—previously for the Roanoke Times and, more recently, in occasional essays for the New York Times. She has also written for magazines, radio, and online journals from locations ranging from a mobile home in Bassett, Virginia, to a crowded cholera ward in Limbe, Haiti.

Like the treatment innovators she profiles, Beth Macy meets the opioid crisis where it is—not where we think it should be or wish it was. Bearing witness with clear eyes, intrepid curiosity, and unfailing empathy, she brings us the crucial next installment in the story of the defining disaster of our era, one that touches every single one of us, whether directly or indirectly. A complex story of public health, big pharma, dark money, politics, race, and class that is by turns harrowing and heartening, infuriating and inspiring, Raising Lazarus is a must-read for all Americans.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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