The Virginia Community College System also lifted the mask mandate for vaccinated students and faculty.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – Officials at Tidewater Community College tell us they are encouraging their students to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Our goal is to provide as much information as possible on how to stay safe during the pandemic. How to stay safe in our classrooms, and just encourage everyone to take the vaccine, we think it is. the safest route, and in doing so, those who are can get in and out without a mask, ”said Naima Ford, Director of Marketing.
But she added that the vaccine is not required to return to school.
“Every decision about vaccines is up to us as individuals. It is a health decision that person must make. Not forcing our students to take the vaccine is to respect the wishes of the community, the wishes of the faculty, the wishes of the students, ”said Ford. .
She echoed the statement released by Virginia Community College Systems on May 25, reading, “We will not require an individual to be vaccinated to attend or work at any of our colleges.”
“We expected, we are trying to stay on track with what the governor and the CDC have said,” said Ford, staying within limits when discussing schools’ expectations for the vaccine decision. The VCCS statement cites a number of community college-specific factors in the decision.
“The lack of university residences on community college campuses makes this problem different for us than it is for universities,” the statement read.
The statement also said that the focus by community colleges on short-term training and accreditation programs means that requiring proof of vaccination could impact student enrollment.
“We need a lot of practical instruction. We want to educate people and get the economy going with skilled workers in these jobs.”
TCC officials tell us they have brought 40% of students back to campus, exceeding the initial goal of 25% for the summer. They hope to reach 50% by fall and 75% by spring.