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U.Va. requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by December

Biden's executive order requires employees of organizations with certain federal contracts be fully vaccinated

<p>The requirement is in accordance with President Joe Biden’s recent executive order.</p>

The requirement is in accordance with President Joe Biden’s recent executive order.

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The University is requiring all full-time and part-time employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, per a Thursday email from Provost Liz Magill and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis. The requirement is in accordance with President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14042, which was issued Sept. 9 to require employees of organizations with federal contracts be fully vaccinated, including institutions of higher education which contract with the government. 

“Like many other institutions around the country, we have determined that compliance with President Biden’s executive order is vital to ensure that we do not risk losing millions in federal contract dollars that support important research and education work here at U.Va.,” the University email stated.

Ninety-five percent of University employees are vaccinated as of Thursday. Previously, unvaccinated employees were subject to mandatory weekly prevalence testing. Now, the University will issue “disciplinary actions, up to or including unpaid leave or termination” to any employee still unvaccinated by the December deadline. 

The new requirement does not apply to those who are unvaccinated due to medical or religious exemptions.

The University recommended unvaccinated employees looking to meet the new requirement make an appointment to get vaccinated as soon as possible. To comply with the deadline, employees must either receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine by Oct. 27, first dose of Pfizer by Nov. 3 or the single Johnson & Johnson shot by Nov. 24.

The policy applies to those directly employed by the University — it does not include contracted employees, according to University spokesperson Brian Coy. Contractors with the University include food service providers Aramark and Morrison, child care providers KinderCare and Bright Horizons, mail services provider Exela, custodial services provider BMS, environmental services provider Crothall and valet services provider Towne Park. 

While Aramark has no policy requiring vaccinations, Bright Horizons requires all employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly prevalence testing and BMS required all employees in the U.S. to be vaccinated by Nov. 1. Other contractors with the University may also mandate vaccines based on Biden’s executive order. 

The U.Va. Health System announced Aug. 30 all employees must be vaccinated by Nov. 1 or face possible termination. The Health System policy includes employees working in the Medical Center, School of Medicine, University Physicians Group, Health Sciences Library and Community Medicine, regardless of their employer.

University leadership continues to monitor the progression of the pandemic and plans to issue an update on its masking policy no later than Nov. 1. 

As of Wednesday, there are 38 active cases of COVID-19 within the University community, 15 of which are students. 54 individuals are currently hospitalized for the virus at U.Va. Health, per the University's COVID-19 tracker

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