Virginia Commonwealth University students who are unvaccinated and miss more than one mandatory COVID-19 test will be automatically withdrawn from classes, the university announced Friday.
Students who miss one mandatory test will receive a warning. Students who miss a second will be administratively withdrawn from their fall semester classes, according to the news release. The university announced the policy shift late Friday, after a letter faculty sent last week asking VCU to impose stricter rules on students who were not complying with public health protocols.
The letter followed a Times-Dispatch report highlighting how VCU’s approach to enforcing its vaccine policy differed with other state schools, which disenrolled students before the semester started if they had not provided proof of vaccination or secured a religious or medical exemption.
VCU required all students to submit vaccination records or request a medical or religious exemption but allowed those who did not to enroll in in-person classes and live in on-campus housing anyway. Those who failed to comply have a registration hold on their accounts, meaning they can’t make schedule changes this semester.
About 450 VCU students on campus are unvaccinated and without an exemption, according to figures a spokesman provided last week.
To date, 97.4% of students and 89% of employees have either provided proof of vaccination or been approved for a religious or medical exemption, according to the university.