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.
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.
Permit Points to Winery Coming to Westover Hills
Don’t whine about what’s going into old dry cleaners unless you don’t like wine.
Once again our eagle-eyed reader John Murden pointed out this bit of news to us. The former dry cleaner next to Outpost on Forest Hill Ave. has applied for a winery license. Work has been going at a steady pace since the plans for Rage RVA fell through. We’ll keep an ear out and update you with more information as it comes out.
Three Businesses Heading Into Red Cap Patisserie Spot
Where once stood a bakery will now stand vendors selling Filipino food, Italian food, and coffee.
Red Cap Patisserie was one of my favorite bakeries in town. Unfortunately, it hasn’t survived. The location at 719 N. Meadow instead is turning into Market on Meadow.
Spotted on Instagram (edited for format).
We are SO EXCITED to finally announce our small business collaboration, Market on Meadow.
We are founded by 3 local RVA market vendors who create their products from the ground up:
- Polpetti, with the most delicious Italian goods & creators of the amazing Polpetti Pockets.
- Auntie Ning’s, a Filipino-owned business spearheading quality Filipino food into the RVA scene with their lumpia, pancit, lechon, empanadas, and much more.
- Column 15, a Black & Filipino, women-owned coffee roastery that specializes in nitro cold brew and adds those really refreshing coffee ice spheres into your drink.
Give us a like or follow, and be among the first to be updated on our upcoming RVA Brick & Mortar, located in The Fan area of Richmond, 719 N Meadow Street, opening July 2021.
Filipino food truck Auntie Ning’s, coffee shop Column 15 and Polpetti Catering, which sells Italian fare, are going in together to launch Market on Meadow in the former Red Cap Patisserie at 719 N. Meadow St.
Combining retail sales, a shared kitchen and a sit-down dining area, the market also will feature a commissary kitchen program for other users.
Each of the three tenants will continue to operate as an independent brand. Each concept will have a separate menu and retail offerings, and will each facilitate its operations at the market with its own staff, Column 15 co-owner Victoria Goldsby said.
Science Museum of Virginia and RVAir Looking for Volunteers to Check Out Forest Hill Park
Collaborators will take walks through Forest Hill Park or other Richmond neighborhoods to collect data using hand-held AirBeam sensors to test for particulate matter (PM).
Details snagged from the Science Musuem of Virginia RVAir page.
What Is RVAir?
The Museum’s current community science project is studying air quality in Richmond neighborhoods and we need you! We need individuals and community partners to help us measure local concentrations of airborne pollution known as particulate matter (PM), a mixture of microscopic particles in the air that has been linked with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
Why Is This needed?
According to our project partners at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Richmond region experienced zero unhealthy ozone air quality days for the first time since monitoring began in the 1970s in 2019 (yay!). However, the National Asthma and Allergy Foundation consistently ranks Richmond as the 12th worst city in the U.S. for asthma sufferers. Why might this be?
Air quality ratings for the entire Richmond area are based on data collected that represents the regional “airshed.” We know from studies in other cities that local changes in the environment such as wide streets, traffic volume, close proximity to interstates and the number of trees lining streets can significantly change the amount of pollution in the air we breathe at the hyper-local level.
By getting local experts (you!) to help us get locally-specific air quality data throughout Richmond, we can help create home-grown solutions to Richmond’s climate resiliency challenge.How Can I Get Involved?
We need collaborators to join us on walks through Richmond neighborhoods to collect data using hand-held AirBeam sensors to test for particulate matter (PM). By joining us whenever you can, you’ll be helping us collect data that will be directly uploaded to public, open source GIS maps showing local PM concentrations.
- Feel free to bring kids! Families are encouraged to participate. Just have one lead adult fill out the form.
- You must be 18 or older to participate on your own.
- Routes vary from 2-4 miles and typically take about an hour, but shorter 30-minute options are available.
- Most route options are on flat, paved surfaces and are wheelchair accessible.
- Accompaniment is available for anyone who may require assistance.
- Biking is an option.
- There are options for remote participation.
- There’s no cost to participate.
- Let us know about anything else you may need to ensure this project is accessible and inclusive.
Looks like they need 12 folks each day for three different days later this month. They’re also looking for volunteers to hit up Abner Clay Park and the Science Museum of Virginia.