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April 14, 2021 – Undergraduate 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. Undergraduate students should have received a communication from VUMC on Friday, April 9, for scheduling.  

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.  

PLAN AHEAD: VUMC COVID-19 vaccine appointments for on-campus residents

VUMC is currently only giving the Pfizer vaccine. It is given in two doses, 21 days apart. Residence halls close for all non-graduating students May 12 at 9 a.m. Residence halls close for all graduating students May 16 at 1 p.m. 

  • For non-graduating students: to complete both vaccine doses before departing campus, you will need to schedule your first dose no later than April 20, 2021.
  • For graduating students: to complete both vaccine doses before departing campus, you will need to schedule your first dose no later than April 24, 2021.

Students will NOT be permitted to remain in campus residence halls after these dates to complete their second vaccine appointment, so please plan accordingly. 

Spring semester testing

The asymptomatic testing program will continue through Tuesday, May 11. All undergraduate students should continue to test through finals until they leave campus. The testing center will be closed after Tuesday, May 11, for the spring semester. 

Class of 2021 undergraduates who are in the asymptomatic testing program are required to test during their regularly scheduled times through May 11.  

Class of 2021 undergraduates 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. 

Summer COVID-19 testing

Asymptomatic testing will resume on May 17 for students 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. 

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 an automated email. 

The university’s testing program is designed to satisfy the requirements of Vanderbilt University and the surveillance testing program, and may 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: 

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.