Faculty are central to the university’s mission to advance research, discovery and creative expression—and to provide an excellent education to every Vanderbilt student. At Vanderbilt, the well-being of faculty is absolutely vital to our continued success.
Vanderbilt University will resume in-person classes, and faculty will resume in-person teaching, with modifications to support the well-being of our people, including physical distancing and other university protocols. As additional plans are developed and made available, your respective schools and colleges will provide more information to you.
Find answers to the most asked questions about Return to Campus
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Vanderbilt University announced that fall semester classes will be offered in person.
While the decision signals a step toward the life we recognize, it was made with an eye to the dynamic reality of the pandemic. The university’s priority remains ensuring the health and safety of students, postdocs, faculty and staff as much as possible. Should the status of the pandemic change dramatically over the spring and summer, or should public health guidance advise against in-person instruction, an alternative option may be required.
Fall academic calendar
- In-person, on-campus undergraduate classes will begin Aug. 25 and conclude Dec. 10. Pending updated public health data and travel guidelines in the fall, all undergraduate students will return to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday to complete the final two weeks of classes and take exams in person. The semester will conclude Dec. 18.
- Academic calendars for graduate and professional programs will largely follow the undergraduate schedule, beginning Aug. 25 and concluding Dec. 10. Students will return to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday to complete the final two weeks of classes and take exams, if applicable, in person. The semester will conclude Dec. 18. Specific schools may have slight schedule variations. All students will receive additional information from their respective schools with full calendar details.
- The university will observe Fall Break Oct. 14–15. Information about travel guidance and restrictions during that time will be determined based on updated public health travel guidelines in the fall.
- Undergraduate and graduate students will receive an additional reading day Dec. 8 to supplement regular reading days Dec. 11–12 during final exams.
- Students must request a Leave of Absence through the appropriate school official if they cannot engage in in-person instruction on campus and do not have an approved accommodation.
In light of the recently revised CDC guidance and updated university COVID-19 protocols for students as well as faculty, staff, and postdoctoral fellows, the university is sunsetting Vanderbilt University’s research ramp-up review and approval process.
The review and approval process for both on-campus and off-campus in-person research activities, including review and approval through the research ramp-up process of visiting researchers and exceptions for research travel, will cease. As such, all REDCap forms related to the research ramp-up review and approval process will be closed, and any pending reviews and approvals will not be completed. Instead, please refer to the latest university guidance, which can be found on the VU Health and Safety Protocols website. For those engaging in research activities at VUMC, please be sure to refer to the latest VUMC guidance as well.
If you have any questions or concerns about research at Vanderbilt University, please feel free to reach out to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campus Life and Housing
As the university welcomes back students, faculty and staff for the 2021–22 academic year, many buildings, including student centers and academic buildings on campus, have updated their operational hours and card access security.
Most academic buildings, including the libraries, will be locked 24/7. Undergraduate students, faculty, staff, graduate and professional students will have card access to appropriate residence halls, academic buildings and libraries. Therefore, it is highly encouraged that everyone carries your VU ID card in case the building you are attempting to enter requires card access.
Student Centers will have set operational hours, and select Vanderbilt University community members will have access to these spaces.
Sarratt Student Center
- Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Swipe access only, 7 p.m.–7 a.m.
- Friday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Swipe access only, 7–11 p.m. No swipe access after 11 p.m.
- Saturday, swipe access only 9 a.m.–11 p.m. No swipe access after 11 p.m.
- Sunday, swipe access only, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
- Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Swipe access only, 7 p.m.–7 a.m.
- Friday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Swipe access only, 7–11 p.m. No swipe access after 11 p.m.
- Saturday, swipe access only, 9 a.m.–11 p.m. No swipe access after 11 p.m.
- Sunday, swipe access only, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
Student Life Center
- Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
- Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Swipe access only, 7–11 p.m. No swipe access after 11 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday, swipe access only, 9 a.m.–11 p.m. No swipe access after 11 p.m.
- Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Swipe access only, 7 p.m.–midnight.
- Saturday and Sunday, swipe access only, 9 a.m.–midnight.
- After-hours access is open to residents only.
E. Bronson Ingram and Nicholas S. Zeppos Residential Colleges
- Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Swipe access only, 7–11 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday, swipe access only, 9 a.m.–11 p.m.
- After-hours access is open to residents only.
For the latest operational hours, please visit the Student Centers website.
The health and safety of the Vanderbilt community is the highest priority. The university, in close consultation with experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the School of Nursing as well as national, state and local public health officials, is closely monitoring changes in the pandemic and will update the community if any changes are made to buildings operational hours or card access.
Vanderbilt University deeply values the neighbors, community partners and visitors who make the campus community so vibrant.
In accordance with recent changes to CDC guidelines, Vanderbilt University has updated its visitor policy after consulting with public health experts. Beginning Monday, Aug. 2, visitors coming to campus must wear a mask indoors, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated. Visitors include parents and families coming to campus for orientation, move-in and other activities.
All campus community members and all visitors, including family members and loved ones, will be required to mask during move-in on Aug. 21–22. More detailed information about additional move-in protocols will be shared soon.
Campus academic buildings will continue to be closed to visitors. Invited guests are allowed in buildings with their hosts, and masks are required whether vaccinated or unvaccinated.
Buildings open to visitors include:
- Student Life Center for campus tours
- Residence halls* (for families and guests of on-campus residents only)
Athletics events will be addressed later.
Gathering size limits will be lifted for outdoor gatherings. Outdoor areas should be used as community gathering spaces whenever possible.
The university will allow for increased attendance at indoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings may occur at up to the full capacity of a given indoor space, including work, classroom and research spaces.
For the health and safety of our campus community and any visiting guests, the university will limit large indoor events with a substantial number of visitors. Large outdoor events with visitors also may have additional requirements and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Off-campus activities may resume.
Individually packaged food and drink, individually plated or single-serve items, or a caterer/staff-served buffet (where servers are masked and gloved) are allowed at gatherings. Self-serve food & beverage options are not permitted at this time.
For questions surrounding events with substantial amounts of visitors to campus, contact:
- Students: Student Centers
University-sponsored domestic and international travel is permitted consistent with CDC guidelines. In alignment with CDC guidelines , all individuals arriving in the United States following international travel and unvaccinated individuals arriving from domestic travel should mask, physically distance, and only do essential activities for 7 days after travel, and take a COVID-19 test within 3-5 days of arriving regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not. All individuals returning from travel are encouraged to visit the asymptomatic testing center on campus to take a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after their arrival, or may test at a location convenient to them off campus.
Vanderbilt will continue to assess study abroad programming. More information can be found here.
The David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center will continue to phase reopen this fall semester in accordance with university health safety protocols. The Rec is currently only available to active University faculty, staff, and students. In time, we hope all our programs return to full capacity. For policy information, please visit vu.edu/vandyrec.
COVID-19 Exposure and Wellness
POSITIVE CASE / CLOSE CONTACT WEBFORM
Members of the Vanderbilt community who have received a COVID-19 positive test result or were informed they are a close contact outside of the VUMC system (e.g. Metro Public Health or another public health entity), should complete the following webform. The webform goes directly to the Command Center to ensure confidentiality and someone will follow-up with you as soon as possible.
Test results of individuals tested by VUMC (Student Health or Occupational Health) or VU’s asymptomatic testing center are routed automatically.
Individuals will receive direct communication from the Command Center about their isolation (if they tested positive) or quarantine period (if considered a close contact) and will be instructed to contact Student Health or Occupational Health if they develop symptoms.
VACCINATION RECORD SUBMITTAL
Members of the Vanderbilt community can submit their vaccination record at the following link. A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses will be needed. Email the Command Center at email@example.com if any problems are encountered submitting vaccination information to the system.
PUBLIC HEALTH CENTRAL COMMAND CENTER
The Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center (Command Center) is a collaboration between the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing, Division of Administration, Office of the Provost, Vanderbilt Student Health Center (SHC) and Vanderbilt Occupational Health Center (OHC). The Command Center provides support and coordination for university testing strategies. As a part of these efforts, the Command Center conducts contact tracing with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Along with contact tracing, the Command Center coordinates with supervisors, mentors, leadership and other community members as positive individuals and close contacts are identified, providing support for the workplace, and living and learning communities.
By launching these robust in-house contact tracing, coordination and support capabilities, Vanderbilt has established an organizational and case management structure to ensure timely coordination to protect and support the health and safety of the campus and Nashville community.
To read more about how contact tracing works, please visit the contact tracing page.
Members of the Vanderbilt community who have received a COVID-19 positive test result, regardless of vaccination status, must complete the following webform. The webform goes directly to the Command Center to ensure confidentiality and someone will follow-up with you as soon as possible.
Test results of individuals tested by VUMC (Student Health or Occupational Health) or VU’s asymptomatic on-campus testing program are routed automatically.
Individuals will receive direct communication from the Command Center about their isolation (if they tested positive) and will be instructed to contact Student Health or Occupational Health if they develop symptoms.
Members of the Vanderbilt community who have been informed they are a close contact from sources external from the university, regardless of vaccination status, should complete the following webform. The webform goes directly to the Command Center to ensure confidentiality and someone will follow-up with you as soon as possible.
Close contacts who are unvaccinated will quarantine for 10 days based on CDC guidance. Additional requirements are in place for days 10 to 14 following exposure including:
- For days 10 to 14 after last exposure, unvaccinated Vanderbilt community members identified as close contacts must not unmask at any time in public.
- Individuals should eat alone or complete any activities alone that require removing a mask in a private space during those four days between day 10-14.
Close contacts who are vaccinated and asymptomatic will not have to quarantine but are recommended to monitor their symptoms and to get a COVID-19 test 5-7 days after last exposure. If asymptomatic, testing can be done at the VU testing center. If individuals develop symptoms, they should test at Student Health, Occupational Health or VUMC or other testing location in the community. More information on symptomatic and asymptomatic testing can be found here.
Close contacts who are vaccinated and symptomatic may have to quarantine based on severity of symptoms and specific living situations. This determination will be made by their medical provider in consultation with the Command Center.
Officials with the university’s Public Health Central Command Center will continue to make determinations of quarantine periods for close contacts. Close contacts who reside on-campus and need to quarantine will move to quarantine housing. Close contacts who reside off-campus and need to quarantine will quarantine at their residences.
Students in quarantine and isolation should contact their instructors to discuss a plan to access class material and make up missed work. Faculty will work with students as they do other times when a student misses class due to a medical condition.
Campus-wide approaches to safety and the practice of mask wearing and physical distancing are important as individuals can be without symptoms and still be COVID-19 positive. Individuals should conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus and/or joining campus activities. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly. All individuals must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to be on, or participate in, activities on campus.
According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. These symptoms or combinations of symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
While monitoring symptoms is required, reporting symptoms in a symptom assessment tool is not mandatory. If a student has symptoms, they should seek assessment at Student Health. If faculty, staff or a postdoc has symptoms, they should seek assessment at Occupational Health or with their preferred physician.
To mitigate the risk to others of potential exposure and to protect all on campus as much as possible, a Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center (Command Center) has been established to manage contact tracing and notifications across VU communities. This Command Center is a collaboration between the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing, the Vanderbilt Student Health Center (SHC) and the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Center (OHC), and it will conduct contact tracing with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. By launching this robust in-house contact tracing capability, developed in collaboration with experts at VUMC, VUSN and Metro Public Health, Vanderbilt ensures coordinated contact tracing between campus and the Nashville community that is as timely as possible.
Faculty, staff, postdocs and students who live off campus and test positive for COVID-19 must isolate at their home/current residence and follow current CDC guidance as directed until they have recovered. Residential students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate as directed by the Dean of Students until they have recovered.
Contact tracing generally works as follows:
- If an individual develops symptoms and is awaiting a COVID-19 test, receives a positive COVID-19 test result, or is identified as a close contact by contact tracers, then the individual stays home (or in the case of residential students, goes to quarantine space as directed by Dean of Students) until released.
- When a positive COVID-19 test result is identified, a contact tracer will be assigned immediately to the case. The contact tracer will interview the individual and identify all contacts. Close contacts are defined specifically as noted below. Close contacts are entered into a database and notified by phone and email. Information on how to proceed is relayed to each individual who is a close contact.
- The contact tracer will relay information about any non-VU close contacts to the Metro Public Health department.
Please note that during this process the name of the index case will be disclosed to possible contacts, but protected health information will not be disclosed.
Per both Vanderbilt protocol and CDC guidance, a close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic persons, 2 days prior to positive test collection) until the time the person is isolated.
Things to Remember:
- Incidental exposure such as walking by someone in the hallway, using the same equipment or the same area/room is not close contact.
- Surface contamination is not a primary pathway of concern per the CDC. Public areas will be frequently disinfected by Facilities/Plant Operations.
Immunity eligibility for students
Students are expected to be forthcoming and honest when providing information to contact tracers. A student who provides information about their prior possession or use of alcohol or other drugs and any resulting intoxication, or prior violation of Vanderbilt’s COVID-19 protocols, during contact tracing will be eligible for immunity from disciplinary action in order to facilitate accurate information reporting. Similarly, a student who provides information in a Title IX investigation about their prior possession or use of alcohol or other drugs and any resulting intoxication or prior violation of Vanderbilt’s COVID-19 protocols, will be eligible for immunity from disciplinary action in order to facilitate accurate information reporting during the investigation. On the other hand, failure to be truthful and forthcoming during contact tracing will result in disciplinary action.
Student Health is open Monday through Friday. The Student Health on-call triage line can be reached at 615-322-2427 for additional questions or concerns. If Student Health is closed, students may call the VUMC COVID-19 hotline at 888-312-0847 for information about after-hours assessment site availability. This number is answered seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. central time.
In addition, the VUMC emergency department is available for severe symptoms. If symptoms are not severe enough to require an emergency visit, then for the safety of others it is extremely important to avoid prolonged close contact with others, wear a face mask/covering and practice strict hand hygiene while awaiting the Student Health Center to open.
An individual who lives on campus awaiting test results should shelter in place in their room or will be moved to quarantine housing, depending on their living situation. Students who live off campus should remain at home off campus minimizing exposure to others and keep their instructors/department chair/supervisor/mentor/lead researcher informed of their return-to-campus status. Once a negative test result is received, the individual should return to campus work, research, classes, and other activities. If a positive test result is received and the student tested at a facility other than Student Health, then the individual should remain off campus and immediately notify the Vanderbilt Command Center through this webform.
Faculty, Staff and Postdoctoral Fellows
Faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows who have symptoms related to COVID-19 can be tested 7:30 a.m to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Occupational Health Express Care Clinic located in Suite 112 of the Medical Arts Building on main campus.
Staff with symptoms can also call the VUMC COVID-19 hotline at (888) 312-0847 daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to be assessed and directed to the nearest open testing site. Additional options include the Vanderbilt Health Walk-In Clinics noted here and the Vanderbilt Health Clinics at Walgreens noted here.
If options listed above are not open and the symptoms are severe enough, the individual should go to the VUMC emergency department.
An individual awaiting test results should remain at home, off campus minimizing exposure to others and keep their department chair/supervisor/mentor/lead researcher informed of their return-to-campus status. Once a negative test result is received, the individual should return to campus work, research, classes, and other activities. If a positive test result is received, then the individual should remain off campus and immediately notify the Vanderbilt Command Center through this webform.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for students arriving from abroad for the fall semester is available at the testing center on campus. International students must continue to follow the protocols previously communicated to them.
The asymptomatic testing program includes the following individuals:
- Asymptomatic vaccinated close contacts will be able to test at the testing center and will receive instructions from the Command Center Contact Tracing team after they have reported they are a close contact or have been identified as a close contact.
- Individuals who are unvaccinated with an approved accommodation will be required to test weekly. Tests taken outside of the testing center or Student Health will not be accepted for the weekly requirement. Individuals should visit the testing center once a week to be compliant with this requirement as outlined below. Individuals who were unvaccinated and are in a pending status (i.e. going through the process to become vaccinated) will need to continue to test until after their final dose of the vaccine is received and they have uploaded their vaccination information to the vaccine portal.
- As a part of Vanderbilt’s COVID-19 response and in light of increasing case numbers in Nashville and the surrounding community, the university is implementing random asymptomatic testing—or “sentinel” testing—to detect and forecast possible infection trends and provide early warning signs of outbreak. Sentinel testing captures a random sample of vaccinated individuals from the campus community to help monitor the prevalence of COVID-19. This type of testing is a common technique with vaccine-preventable diseases, per the Centers for Disease Control. Undergraduate, graduate and professional students, postdoctoral scholars, staff and faculty are eligible for the sentinel testing program and will be selected at random.
In addition, the asymptomatic testing program will include:
- When needed, immediate targeted testing upon identifying a potential host spot based on data trends observed by the Command Center.
Please note that individuals who were previously positive with COVID-19 should not test for 90 days from their positive test date. If you received a positive test outside of the university in the last 90 days and have not reported it to the Command Center, you must report your previously positive test to the Command Center in order to be exempt for the 90-day period. If the Command Center is already aware of your positive test, you do not need to test for 90 days from your positive test date.
The COVID-19 asymptomatic testing center is located on campus at the David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center in the auxiliary gym. Individuals can park in lot 102 and will need to enter through the large doors at the back of the Recreation and Wellness Center, by the recreation fields and lot 102. Signage will direct you to the indoor testing center. Additionally, a limited number of drive-up testing parking places are available in reserved locations in lot 102 for those with mobility challenges or who otherwise prefer to remain in their cars.
The testing center will be open:
- Mondays from 7am-3pm
- Tuesdays from 7am-3pm
- Wednesdays from 7am-3pm
- Thursdays from 7am-3pm
Please note, the week of Thanksgiving the testing center will be open Monday and Tuesday, November 22 and 23 from 7am-3pm. It will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, November 24 and 25.
Individuals do not need to schedule a time in advance to test and can visit the testing center during open hours. We will communicate with the community if the testing center hours should change in the future. Individuals should not eat or drink for 60 minutes prior to taking their test.
We highly recommend individuals download the Safer Community app in advance of visiting the testing center the first time. The app speeds up the check-in process and will also display testing results. More information on the app can be found on the following page. Information on the testing vendor (type of test, etc.) can be found here.
Individuals who need an asymptomatic test for purposes of travel or other special circumstances are welcome to visit the testing center during open hours. Please keep in mind, the VU Testing Program is designed to satisfy the COVID-19 testing requirements of the university and are not designed necessarily to meet specific test result requirements for every possible form of travel. If the testing results sent via email and the app do not satisfy an individual’s specific proof of test result requirements, or testing is needed outside of open hours, individuals should explore tests performed beyond the university testing center. Options include one of the Metro Nashville or TN assessment sites or other facilities including CareNow and American Family Care.
Individuals with symptoms should NOT visit the testing center and should follow the instructions for symptomatic testing outlined at the top of this page.
Consistent with our student vaccine requirement, all Vanderbilt University-employed faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic school year.
Faculty vaccination requirement
All full-time and part-time Vanderbilt University-employed faculty are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic school year. All faculty, including those who received their vaccine from Occupational Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic, must submit their vaccination record using the vaccine tracker submission form.
Faculty who seek an exemption from the vaccination requirement as a medical or religious accommodation must submit a request for accommodation to the Equal Opportunity and Access office as soon as possible.
Faculty who have not submitted confirmation of vaccination and who do not have an approved or in-process request for exemption/accommodation will be subject to appropriate Faculty Manual processes, including disciplinary actions.
Staff and postdoctoral fellow vaccination requirement
All Vanderbilt University-employed staff—which includes full time, part time, flex and temporary—and all VU-employed postdocs are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic school year. Staff and postdocs, including those who received their vaccine from Occupational Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic, must submit their vaccination record using the vaccine tracker submission form. This requirement applies regardless of whether staff are working on campus or remotely, now or in the future.
Staff and postdocs who decide to seek an exemption from the vaccination requirement as a medical or religious accommodation must submit a request for accommodation to the Equal Opportunity and Access office.
Vaccination and submission of vaccination records (or an approved or in-process request for accommodation) for staff and postdocs is a condition of employment. Supervisors will be notified of those not in compliance, and the university will take appropriate disciplinary action, which will include termination of employment.
COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing infection by the virus, and experts believe getting the vaccine prevents serious illness and reduces potential transmission to others even if you do get infected. The rapid development and expansion of the vaccine is an unprecedented achievement in the history of medicine and is one in which scientists and clinicians at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center played leading roles. This underscores the power of our university’s relentless pursuit of innovation and our mission to be of service to our community.
Faculty, staff and postdocs who have not yet received their vaccination can find more information on scheduling a vaccination appointment on the VUMC website.
COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters
Eligible members of the Vanderbilt community who have already received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine series, can obtain their booster 6 months after their initial series. See if you are eligible for a booster at the CDC’s website.
VUMC will be hosting a booster event – Boosta-Palooza October 5-8 for some community members. Individuals who are eligible will receive an email directly from Occupational Health with a link to schedule a session.
All other VU community members who are eligible, including patients with high-risk conditions, can also schedule their Pfizer booster shot at One Hundred Oaks, one of the Vanderbilt clinics, or Occupational Health or Student Health. To schedule, use the myHealth at Vanderbilt app or website to schedule a visit at a walk-in clinic. More information on scheduling boosters can be found on the VUMC website. Non-VUMC patients can find information about vaccine location options on this website.
Which vaccines are approved?
All World Health Organization-authorized vaccines are acceptable; Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson are included.
I received a vaccine, but it is not WHO approved. What should I do?
The university is accepting all World Health Organization authorized vaccines. The WHO continues to update decisions on vaccines routinely. We would recommend reviewing the WHO website for information regarding the vaccine you received and if it’s to be approved in the future. Once approved, the vaccine tracker portal will include an option for that vaccine. If the vaccine you have received will not be approved soon, we would recommend getting a WHO approved vaccine wherever you are located.
Am I required to get vaccinated if I’ve had COVID-19 or have the presence of antibodies?
Yes. In line with CDC recommendations, Vanderbilt University requires all faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows to be vaccinated, including those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19.
I received my vaccination at VUMC/Student Health/Occupational Health, do I need to submit my record to VU?
Yes, you will still need to submit your record to the university even if you received your vaccination at Student Health, Occupational Health, VUMC or a VUMC clinic. VUMC (which includes Student Health and Occupational Health) does not automatically share your medical record with VU.
How do I submit my vaccination record?
Vanderbilt students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and staff should submit their vaccination records to the Public Health Command Center using a password-protected, self-service portal. To submit a vaccination record, please visit the following link.
What is needed to submit a vaccination record? What if I lost my vaccination card?
A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses is needed. If you were vaccinated at VUMC or another medical provider, we can accept a screenshot of your vaccination record in MyHealth at Vanderbilt or from another medical provider’s online system. Otherwise, you will need to contact the location in which you received your vaccine to obtain some form of documentation that shows your name and dates of the vaccine dose(s).
I am having trouble entering my vaccination information into the tracker/system. (Any questions regarding how they can only enter one dose or can’t upload an image, etc.)
Email the Command Center at firstname.lastname@example.org if any problems are encountered submitting vaccination information to the system. Include a picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses and they will assist you behind the scenes.
Questions regarding submitting vaccine information in other languages and whether that is allowed
A picture or screenshot of the vaccination card, documentation, or an online medical record showing the dates of the vaccine doses is needed. Individuals can submit official documentation of the vaccination in whatever form provided in their country as long as it shows the person’s name clearly in English, the manufacturer and date of each vaccine dose. While records in English are preferred, the Command Center will accept other languages as long as the name is in English and it clearly shows the manufacturer and date of each dose.
What will happen if I do not submit my vaccination record?
Vaccination and submission of vaccination records (or an approved or in-process request for accommodation) for staff and postdocs is a condition of employment. Supervisors will be notified of those not in compliance, and you will be subject to termination of employment. Faculty who have not submitted confirmation of vaccination and who do not have an approved or in-process request for exemption/accommodation will be subject to appropriate Faculty Manual processes including disciplinary actions.
I work off campus (am remote). Do I need to meet the requirement?
This requirement applies regardless of whether staff are working on campus or remotely, now or in the future and/or if you are currently in a leave status.
Can I continue to work from home if I choose not to get vaccinated?
This requirement applies regardless of whether staff are working on campus or remotely, now or in the future and/or if you are currently in a leave status.
Will new employees have to show a card before they can start?
Proof of full vaccination or an approved accommodation is required before the start of employment in order to work at Vanderbilt University.
How do I submit an accommodation?
Faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows who believe they require an exemption from the vaccination requirement as a medical or religious accommodation must submit a request for accommodation to the Equal Opportunity and Access office.
What should individuals do who are eligible per the CDC for the Pfizer booster and want to schedule a booster shot?
VUMC patients who are eligible, including those with high-risk conditions, can schedule their Pfizer booster shot at One Hundred Oaks, one of the Vanderbilt clinics, or Occupational Health or Student Health. To schedule, use the myHealth at Vanderbilt app or website to schedule a visit at a walk-in clinic. Individuals will not be able to schedule an appointment until they are six months past their initial Pfizer COVID series. More information on scheduling boosters can be found here: https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/GetVaccines. Non-VUMC patients can find information about vaccine location options on this website.
Do I need to submit my booster to the university vaccination portal?
Yes, in order for your booster shot to be reported to Vanderbilt University, you will need to submit your record to the Public Health Command Center. Individuals who receive a booster can submit their record using a password-protected, self-service portal. Click here to submit your booster vaccine record. These records will be maintained and treated as confidential by the command center.
Are boosters required?
A booster is not required by the university at this time but is highly recommended. Any changes to policy will be shared with the university community in advance.
Health and Safety
We know today that the delta variant has fueled a rise in infections in Nashville and beyond and that vaccinated people infected with the variant are, in some cases, able to transmit the virus. However, we also know that vaccinated people are robustly protected against the disease. Breakthrough infections among the vaccinated are rare and, in most cases, produce only mild symptoms. Unfortunately, due to insufficient vaccination rates in our region, there has been a significant increase in infections and hospitalizations, which are almost entirely limited to unvaccinated individuals. To do our part in improving the situation, we are temporarily adjusting on-campus guidance, as outlined below.
Please carefully read the following updated protocols and guidance for the start of the fall 2021 semester. These protocols are effective beginning Monday, August 16.
- Masks are required indoors on campus, unless noted below. Masks are also required indoors whenever minors are present and at all indoor, off-campus Vanderbilt-hosted events. We will monitor cases and guidance to decide when we may lift this masking protocol.
- Masks are not required for vaccinated individuals in private offices, or in shared workspaces, classrooms or labs where individuals can stay at least six feet apart. Instructors when lecturing do not have to wear a mask if the instructor can maintain at least six feet of physical distancing from all students at all times. Additionally, roommates who are vaccinated are not required to wear masks when together in their residence hall room or suite.
- All campus community members and all visitors, including family members and loved ones, will be required to mask during move-in on Aug. 21–22. More detailed information about additional move-in protocols will be shared soon.
- As of Aug. 2, all visitors are required to wear masks in all indoor spaces on campus.
The university expects that many members of our campus community will continue to wear face masks/coverings, and the university supports their choice to do so. People who choose to wear masks should not be questioned about them, nor should they be discouraged or prohibited from wearing them.
Faculty and staff who believe they require a workplace accommodation in light of this change in protocol are encouraged to contact the Equal Opportunity and Access office. Students who believe they require an accommodation are encouraged to contact Student Access.
Masking DURING ACTIVITIES
While exercising and performing (including arts performances and practices), individuals should:
- Conduct these outside when possible;
- If not possible outside, individuals must be at least six feet apart OR if at least six feet of distance cannot be maintained, wear a mask.
Type and Intended Use of Face Masks
Staff face masks are work attire. Face masks must be clean, plain and free of writing, logos or images other than those of Vanderbilt University. Departments may have additional face mask guidelines.
- Face masks must adhere to CDC guidance.
- Cotton face masks are allowed as long as they have multiple layers.
- Any face mask with a one-way exhalation valve is prohibited. These masks allow the wearer to directly exhale into the air, and do not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others.
- Neck gaiters are not approved. The fabric used in neck gaiters has demonstrated through various studies as not being effective. Many neck gaiters are stretchy knit, synthetics or fleece. Those are the least tightly woven fabrics which are least likely to provide a high filtration efficiency. A mask should have a tight weave and low porosity. Other studies can be found here, here, here and here.
- Scarves and bandanas are not approved, as based on studies they do not provide enough layers to be effective.
- Face shields are not approved.
Use and Care of Face Masks
Putting on the face mask
- Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face mask.
- Ensure the face mask fits over the nose and under the chin.
- Situate the face mask properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
- Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
- Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face mask.
Taking off the face mask
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing the face mask.
- When taking off the face mask, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
- Wash hands immediately after removing.
Disposal of face masks
- Keep face mask stored in a paper bag when not in use.
- Disposable face masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in a trash receptacle.
- Dispose of a face mask if it is visibly damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured materials), dirty or visibly contaminated.
Care, storage and laundering of cloth face masks
- Keep face mask stored in a paper bag when not in use.
- Cloth face masks may not be used longer than one day at a time and must be washed after use.
- Disinfecting method: Launder cloth face masks with regular laundry detergent before first use and after each shift. (Disposable masks are not washable.)
During this time of uncertainty, Vanderbilt is committed to supporting the overall health and well-being of the entire campus community through resources that offer support, stress management and strategies for resilience across all demographics. Vanderbilt recognizes that COVID-19 has magnified disparities in a number of areas (e.g., housing, technology, finances, access) among and between various populations of students, which can lead to negative effects on personal well–being.
ACADEMIC SUPPORT RESOURCES
Vanderbilt’s Libraries are reopening with card access for the VU community only. The Libraries are following University protocols to enhance safety and promote physical distancing, while delivering excellent services and resources for learning and research. Remote resources and services have been expanded over the course of the last few months as most of the Libraries services will remain remote.
Researchers often need access to original, primary source materials. So far, the library has been able to provide e-texts or scans for 83.2 percent of all requests. The university has invested resources to increase accessibility, and library staff have scanned thousands of items, so that many items that were unavailable previously are now available digitally.
Some library spaces are being used as classrooms, while others are open for individual study—check the Libraries’ webpage for current opening hours.
On the website you will also find tips for using the libraries in “What to Know Before You Visit” and see more information about new services and resources in “Frequently Asked Questions.” Staffing on site has been de-densified, but librarians are fully available via live chat, zoom, email, phone or text. When in doubt, please reach out to our librarians.
The libraries homepage will continue to offer the latest updates to library hours, resources and services.
Learn more about remote teaching, learning and research support available through the Vanderbilt Libraries.
STUDY ROOMS AND OTHER RESOURCES
Central, Science & Engineering and Peabody libraries will be open for undergraduate students living off-campus to use to take their online courses if they need a place on campus. VUID card access is required to enter these buildings. Headphones or earphones will be required when utilizing these spaces. The buildings will open on Aug. 24 and the hours will be:
- Central, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Peabody, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Science & Engineering, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If more spaces are needed for off-campus student support, updates to students and faculty will be provided through this Return to Campus Update.
In addition, study rooms are available across campus in buildings that include, but are not limited to, libraries. Designated buildings and specific rooms available for study are listed in the searchable chart below and include the room’s capacity. Each room is specifically set up to maintain appropriate physical distance, and students should follow all campus protocols, including wearing a face mask/covering, while using these spaces. Be mindful of following all posted signage, including circulation patterns, and be prepared to change plans in the event a space is at capacity when you arrive.
|Building and Room No.||Capacity|
|Alumni Hall 202||21|
|Alumni Hall 206||17|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 210||4|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 211||18|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 217||18|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 222||40|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 405||6|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 408||45|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 418||76|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 500FA||1|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 500FR||1|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 501||6|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 503||6|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 600FA||1|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 600FR||1|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 602||6|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 605||16|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 612||76|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 612A||16|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 612C||6|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 614||12|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 700FA||1|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 700FR||4|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 701||6|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 703||6|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 800BE||55|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 800FA||8|
|Central & Divinity Libraries 803||12|
|Peabody Library 003||6|
|Peabody Library 004||2|
|Peabody Library 008||36|
|Peabody Library 009||2|
|Peabody Library 010||2|
|Peabody Library 011||1|
|Peabody Library 013||1|
|Peabody Library 014||2|
|Peabody Library 108||4|
|Peabody Library 120||32|
|Peabody Library 202||6|
|Peabody Library 204||76|
|Peabody Library 302||4|
|Peabody Library 304||15|
|Peabody Library 305||6|
|Sarratt Student Center 112||6|
|Sarratt Student Center 115||15|
|Sarratt Student Center 189||14|
|Sarratt Student Center 220||22|
|Sarratt Student Center 361||6|
|Sarratt Student Center 363||6|
|Stevenson 3 (Library) 212||3|
|Stevenson 3 (Library) 238||9|
|Sony Building A1076||35|
STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS SUPPORT
To address this reality, we are enhancing support for our students’ health and well-being through a collaboration with the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing, which will provide counseling for any students who are in quarantine and isolation. We are also providing new tele-health options and additional programming through the Student Care Network, a holistic network of wellness services and resources available to all Vanderbilt students.
The University Counseling Center provides students with access to professionals who have experience helping specific identity groups. The Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence, through its identity centers and identity initiatives, will also continue its commitment to fostering a safe and welcoming community that is inclusive and respectful of differences. Inclusive Excellence is launching identity initiatives this academic year to support international students as well as first-generation students.
Parents and students with questions can call a new dedicated hotline at 615-322-4357 for any question related to the fall. Vanderbilt has expanded capacity to take these calls, and, from this line, calls will be routed to the right unit as/if needed.
Student Care Network will:
- Provide clinical mental health and psychiatric services, well-being and academic coaching, care coordination and follow-up, and other health and wellness services
- Provide access to counselors with expertise for specific identity groups
- Enhance staffing and training
- Increase tele-health/self-directed app options
- Implement targeted programming
- Re-formulate “drop-in” services
- Revise collaborative follow-up models
- Continue financial assistance
- Support virtual community-building efforts
ADDITIONAL CAMPUS SUPPORT
An updated list of the available student services and resources for both our remote student population and for those students who remain on campus is available on the Student Care Network website.
- Office of Housing and Residential Experience
- Campus Connection Program: Launching in late July
- Student Care Network
- Public Health AmbassaDore Program
- Student Access Services
- Office of Inclusive Excellence
- International Student & Scholar Services
We are also offering a dedicated helpline to help answer your questions at 615-322-4357. The help line will be staffed by counselors between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDT, Monday through Friday.
Faculty, Staff and Postdoc SUPPORT
Vanderbilt is committed to supporting your overall health and well-being. Faculty, staff and postdocs should visit the Vanderbilt health and wellness website for more information and resources that offer support, help manage stress and enhance your resilience.
Vanderbilt community members with children SUPPORT
For parents in the Vanderbilt community who are managing both work and home responsibilities, there are specific university resources available for support.
The Vanderbilt Child and Family Center has a number of resources ranging from family life to baby’s best start to backup care. The center continues to seek input on what working parents need to create pathways to these resources. Two examples that grew out of parents’ expressed interest are:
- The Vanderbilt Caregivers Network online forums continue to be a resource to help facilitate and support collaboration.
- The Art Adventures Enrichment Program was created for children in kindergarten through fifth grade to provide Vanderbilt University parents with respite two to three days per week.The Vanderbilt Child and Family Center has announced that it will extend its Art Adventures Enrichment Program through Dec. 18 to continue to support Vanderbilt University community members with children in kindergarten through fifth grade.The extension comes in response to an announcement from Metro Nashville Public Schools that all Metro students are likely to return to remote learning after the Thanksgiving break due to rising COVID rates.Starting Nov. 30, Art Adventures will be offered Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with the exclusion of university holidays.
The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center has a number of support initiatives and programming, including three parent groups which are open to parents of all genders. The Parenting Group is for parents and caregivers and meets once each month. Each meeting focuses on a specific topic, with an invited discussion leader. Last month the group connected with Jessika Boles, a Child Life Team Lead at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, who explained how to talk to kids about COVID-19. Pandemic Parenting is a subset of the Parenting Group and meets Oct. 22 and Dec. 4. The Single Parent Group meets once a month. As a support group, the meetings are unprogrammed and offer a space for single parents of all genders to seek help from other parents while a member of the Employee Assistance Program joins.
The Women’s Center also hosts monthly Work-Life Workshops that cover a range of professional development and self-care topics. Future sessions for this fall will focus on mentorship and isms in the workplace. The Women in the Academy series, aimed at graduate students and postdocs but open to all, will have sessions focusing on trust and boundaries in the classroom, parenting and the academy, and interviewing in a virtual world. The monthly Kitchen Table Series is an undergraduate student-run discussion series that addresses a range of gender-related topics, with the Nov. 17 session focusing on women’s roles in the pandemic.
In addition, please be sure to consider our many existing resources, including the support for remote work and employee engagement recently announced by Human Resources, along with the HR Guide to Supporting Leaders and Staff, which encourages flexibility with staff work schedules. For staff, as always, we encourage you to talk to your supervisor or your HR consultant if you have any questions about your particular situation. For faculty, we encourage you to reach out to your department chair or dean. For students and postdocs, we encourage you to talk with your mentor and dean’s office.
In an effort to guide the university community in practicing healthy behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vanderbilt has launched the Public Health AmbassaDore program to address questions regarding campus health and safety measures.
The program has been established as an additional resource for the Vanderbilt community to navigate changes on campus. As identified representatives of the university, the Public Health AmbassaDores will help promote social norms to create a safe working and learning environment for all within the Vanderbilt University community. AmbassaDores will model exemplary adherence to all university protocols, serve as peer models and sources of information for individuals on campus, assist with knowledge dissemination and help communicate across specific sub-communities, and more.
The first AmbassaDores selected for the program are VUPS community service officers, and the program will expand prior to the fall semester to include other individuals (e.g., facility/building managers, volunteers among staff, faculty, students).
The Public Health AmbassaDores will receive training, resources, and support to prepare them for the role.
The expectations of a Community PHA are that you are willing to provide community members with masks, sanitizer, or more information as needed about best health practices on campus. This volunteer position is a way for members of the VU Community to have the best available information to keep themselves and this campus healthy and safe.
Becoming a Public Health AmbassaDore
You can submit this form yourself with departmental approval or have your department leader or manager submit on your behalf.
Once a form has been submitted you will receive a link to the Oracle Learn training that is mandatory to become a Community PHA.
After the training and quiz has been completed, you will receive a confirmation email that it has been completed.
Finally, a PHA team lead will reach out to you regarding next steps and how to receive PHA supplies.
Thank you for your interest!
Frequently asked questions
What is a Public Health AmbassaDore?
As identified representatives of the university, the Public Health AmbassaDores will help promote social norms to create a safe working and learning environment for all with the Vanderbilt University community. AmbassaDores will model exemplary adherence to all university protocols, serve as peer models and sources of information for individuals on campus, assist with knowledge dissemination and help communicate across specific sub-communities, and more.
Who is eligible to become an AmbassaDore?
Any Vanderbilt faculty and staff can take the training online. However, officially designated Public Health AmbassaDores should seek approval from the supervisor and/or department leader.
How do I apply to become an AmbassaDore?
Those who are interested in becoming an AmbassaDore should fill out the online form above and you will receive a confirmation email with next steps to become an approved AmbassaDore.
If you have additional questions, contact Brittney Whatley in Vanderbilt University Public Safety at brittney.m.whatley@Vanderbilt.edu.
Is there required training to become an AmbassaDore?
Yes. After you or your supervisor/department leader have completed and submitted your information through the form available on the website, you will receive a confirmation email with how to complete the online training through Oracle Learn.
What are the expectations/responsibilities of AmbassaDores?
- Serving as a source of information to promote the university’s expectations for reopening during COVID-19
- Assisting with building circulation
- Encouraging face mask/covering usage
- Encouraging physical distancing
- Providing directions to hand sanitizer stations or hand washing locations; and
- Distributing COVID-19 packets that include masks and hand sanitizer upon request.
Do I need approval to apply?
Yes. To become a designated Public Health AmbassaDore, you will need approval from your supervisor and/or department leader.
Will I be compensated for being and AmbassaDore?
No. This is a voluntary program and AmbassaDores will not receive additional compensation.
How are AmbassaDores identified?
Public Health AmbassaDores will be identifiable with attire and materials made specifically for the program.
What are the time commitments of a Community PHA?
The time commitment as a Community PHA is dependent on your availability and the events of the fall semester. It is important to communicate with your department leader or manager your availability to be able to volunteer as a Community PHA during the week.
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
Contact Captain Leshaun Oliver at email@example.com for more information.
What number can I call to ask protocol questions or report a concern?
The PHA hotline number is operated by dispatch. They are able to answer questions regarding COVID-19 safety protocols, return to campus questions or connect you with a Community PHA to deliver masks, sanitizer or other information to you. The hotline number is 615-343-1352.
Policies and Compliance
Vanderbilt is utilizing software and tools to manage the Return to Campus response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The central repository for data will be housed on secure Vanderbilt servers. Special purpose software, Mazikcare, will be fed data from existing university systems as well as from the Public Health Central Command Center (“Command Center”). Along with the data feeds from existing university systems, the Command Center will enter data from Student Health, Occupational Health, results from the university’s COVID-19 testing program (which are made available to the Command Center through a secure web portal), and its own Contact Tracers (collectively “COVID-19 Data”) in an effort to improve safety on campus.
This Privacy Q&A is designed to inform you about how Vanderbilt collects and uses information provided when you or the Command Center use the COVID-19 Data and how Vanderbilt processes your personal information.
How Do We Use Your Information?
Vanderbilt has a legitimate interest in processing your data in order to better ensure the safety of the Vanderbilt community by aggregation and analysis of the data provided by or about each individual community member. The Command Center and other campus partners may use the COVID-19 Data to identify (for example through use of the VandySafe symptom checker) and respond to positive cases, to identify Close Contacts, and to manage quarantine and isolation. Privacy by design principles are imbedded in this process. Information is shared only to the extent necessary to address the risk to a particular individual and to community members with whom the individual may have come in contact.
Who Has Access to Your Information?
Vanderbilt’s guiding principle in the use of this data is to only permit access data to those with an absolute need to know the information. The data is only accessible by Contact Tracers, the Command Center staff and a limited technical support team with explicit permission to access the data and only with the controls of single sign-on and multi factor authentication. These individuals may share individual community members’ information with others (including those with a need to know such as, the Dean of Students, Staff supervisors, PIs, Building managers, et. al.) but only to the extent necessary. This data is only being utilized to ensure a safe campus environment. Vanderbilt does not share your information with third parties for any commercial purpose. (The data stored in the Mazikcare application is not accessible to anybody outside of Vanderbilt’s authorized users.)
How Long Does Vanderbilt Keep Your Information?
Vanderbilt will practice data minimization and only retain your information for as long as necessary to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How Does Vanderbilt Protect Your Information?
Vanderbilt takes very seriously its obligation to protect the confidentiality of your personal information and use of such information complies with applicable privacy laws including HIPAA and FERPA as well as non-discrimination laws including the ADA and the FMLA. In addition, Vanderbilt uses a combination of process, technology and physical security controls to help protect your information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. The Mazikcare application, which is the technological hub of Vanderbilt’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is behind the single sign-on. A redundant security control for Mazikcare application is multi-factor authentication. Authorized users are bound by agreement to keep confidential all personal information which they access. These authorized uses have received training specific to their roles including training on privacy (including applicable privacy laws) and cybersecurity.
Students, faculty, staff and postdocs will be expected to comply with all university policies and protocols designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection and promote the health and safety of the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities. We encourage members of the campus community to report when there are multiple counts of noncompliance or uncooperative behavior.
Student violations of COVID-19 policies and protocols may be referred to the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity.
The Vanderbilt Faculty Manual provides that faculty may be disciplined for violations of the university’s standards of conduct. The process for reaching a decision to discipline a faculty member is overseen by the dean in consultation with the provost.
The university’s progressive discipline policy states that a staff member can be disciplined for violations of protocols and procedures governing safety. The policy outlines a process for correcting single and repeat episodes of employee failure to comply with rules. Safety violations will be handled under this process.
- Office of Faculty Affairs – Information and resources for faculty on adaptive learning
- Vanderbilt Libraries – Enhanced support for faculty for remote and hybrid teaching
- Equal Employment Opportunity Office – Information about how faculty and staff can request COVID-related accommodations
- Research Protocols – Information about on-campus research
- Pandemic Travel Guidance