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University lifts mask mandate for fully vaccinated members of the community

This guidance applies to Final Exercises ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021

<p>Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated are still required to wear masks around others — both indoors and outdoors — and all other University policies on physical distancing, gatherings and prevalence testing remain in effect.</p>

Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated are still required to wear masks around others — both indoors and outdoors — and all other University policies on physical distancing, gatherings and prevalence testing remain in effect.

University leadership announced that those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors in an email to the community late Friday afternoon. The changes will go into effect Saturday at 9 a.m. and are in accordance with newly announced statewide and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

The change in mask guidance does not apply to any U.Va. Health medical centers, clinics or other health-care settings where individuals should continue to wear masks. Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated are still required to wear masks around others — both indoors and outdoors — and all other University policies on physical distancing, gatherings and prevalence testing remain in effect. 

“These changes are a powerful example of the benefits of getting vaccinated, both for individuals and our community as a whole,” University leadership said.

The changes will apply to graduation ceremonies scheduled this weekend for the Class of 2020 as well as ceremonies planned next weekend for the Class of 2021. Physical distancing and capacity limits on the Lawn and Scott Stadium will remain in effect with the governor’s guidance, which state that schools can hold graduations with a maximum of 5,000 people or 30 percent of the facility’s capacity. Graduating students are permitted to bring two guests.

University staff and ambassadors have been notified of these changes and will continue to remind individuals of physical distancing requirements. 

As of Friday, over 3.1 million individuals in Virginia have been fully vaccinated — 36.8 percent of the population. Individuals are fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of the vaccine.

In Albemarle County, 49,944 individuals have been fully vaccinated — 60.3 percent of the population — while in Charlottesville, 19,461 individuals have been fully vaccinated — 55.5 percent of the population. Over 11,000 students have received either one or both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The University has not yet announced whether or not it plans to mandate vaccines for the fall semester, though Attorney General Mark Herring found that Virginia’s colleges and universities would be within their rights to mandate vaccinations, should they choose to do so.  

“It is important to remember that many people will continue to wear masks in various settings for the foreseeable future,” the University administrators said. “Please continue to treat each other with respect and kindness as we take this next step forward together."

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