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April 14, 2021 – Graduate and professional student Return to Campus Update

Posted by on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 in Community Messages.

COVID-19 public dashboard update

The COVID-19 asymptomatic positive rate for the week of April 4-10 is 0.18 percent, a decrease from the previous week. As the weather warms, it remains as important as ever to follow campus protocols and act responsibly as the pandemic continues. 

Vanderbilt’s on- and off-campus safety protocols remain in place

Despite the city of Nashville’s changes to restrictions on masks for outdoor settings, Vanderbilt’s COVID-19 safety protocols and mask requirements remain the same. Whether you are on or off campus, you are to wear a mask and stay physically distanced to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have these safety protocols in place to protect the health and safety of every member of the Vanderbilt community and to prevent people bringing the virus back to campus. 

Thanks for stepping up and getting vaccinated squirrel cartoon

VUMC now offering COVID-19 vaccinations to students

Students may begin scheduling vaccinations through Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

We strongly encourage all students to get vaccinated to protect your own health and that of the community. If for some reason the scheduling does not work for you to receive your vaccine through VUMC, we strongly encourage you explore options through the health department and other community providers. 

Once you receive your vaccination, please immediately take a picture of your vaccination card so you can  submit your vaccination record to the university and to provide a record of your vaccine status in case you lose the original card. Graduate students who are two weeks past their last dose of vaccine will be exempt from the asymptomatic testing program. 

Spring semester testing

The asymptomatic testing program will continue through Tuesday, May 11. All students who are currently in the testing program should continue to test until May 11. 

  • The testing center will be closed after Tuesday, May 11, for the spring semester. 
  • Drive-thru testing area will close for the semester after May 11. The location will also be closed on May 2 due to Commencement ceremonies. 

Graduate students who are in the asymptomatic testing program are required to test during their regularly scheduled times through May 11.  

Graduate students who have been learning remotely and will be returning to campus for Commencement are encouraged to visit the testing center May 9-11, but it is not required. 

Testing before leaving for the semester

If you are in the asymptomatic testing program and are planning to travel during the summer and need a COVID-19 test, you are welcome to visit the testing center during open hours and use those results as needed. Results are available in the Safer Community app as well as through automated email. 

The university’s testing program is designed to satisfy the requirements of Vanderbilt University and the surveillance testing program, but it might not be adequate for all travel. If the automated email and the app results do not satisfy specific travel requirements, consider getting a test performed outside the university testing program.  

Some options for additional testing include: 

Summer COVID-19 testing

Asymptomatic testing will resume on May 17 for those who will need to be on campus over the summer. Individuals who are required to test as a part of the asymptomatic testing program in the summer will receive communications separately. 

  • The testing center and the drive-thru will reopen May 17 for summer testing. 
  • Summer hours will be Monday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. and Tuesday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-1p.m. 

COVID-19 testing program enhancement

In an effort to improve testing convenience and efficiency, Vanderbilt has added a new laboratory for its COVID-19 test sample processing. The new lab uses smaller test tubes for the saliva collection process, and results are expedited more quickly. This transition will not impact the reliability of test results, the method in which results are delivered or the process by which individuals are tested.