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Safe Return to Campus

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In March 2020, the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and NOVA took immediate steps to respond to an emerging public health crisis—COVID-19. Now, we are adapting to changing conditions related to the virus, including high vaccination rates and evolving state and federal guidance (including the recent CDC guidance on masks).

As Chancellor Glenn DuBois recently announced, VCCS is suspending its face-covering mandate effective Monday, March 14, 2022. Beginning that day, face coverings will no longer be required indoors on our campuses or at our sites.

Some members of our community will choose to continue wearing face coverings and NOVA will still provide free KN95s on our campuses for employees and students who want them. And to keep our community safe, NOVA’s existing strategies of enhanced cleaning, improved ventilation, health information campaigns, and NOVA’s Contagious Diseases Policy and Procedures will remain.

We will also continue to provide the $250 COVID vaccination incentive and the additional one-time $85 COVID booster incentive to students. Students who show their vaccination card at a NOVA Parking Office will receive the funds on their NOVACard.

Your commitment to your health and to the health of others at NOVA and beyond has made it possible for VCCS to rescind the mask mandate. Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our community healthy!

Here is what you need to know:

Face Coverings Are Required until Monday, March 14

As Chancellor Glenn DuBois recently announced, VCCS is suspending its face-covering mandate effective Monday, March 14, 2022. Beginning that day, face coverings will no longer be required indoors on our campuses or at our sites.

NOVA will continue to provide free KN95s at each campus’ NOVA Parking & NOVACard Office for employees and students who choose to continue wearing face coverings.

COVID-19 Vaccines are Effective and Readily Available

To find a time and place to get your first, second or third dose, visit https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/.

Key Resources

Virginia Department of Health Coronavirus Website: Statewide and local data, situation summary, vaccination information and guidance for Virginians experiencing symptoms or who learn they have been exposed to the coronavirus.

CDC Coronavirus Website: National data and guidance for individuals and organizations, including:

NOVA FAQ

What safety protocols remain in place?

As Chancellor Glenn DuBois recently announced, VCCS is suspending its face-covering mandate effective Monday, March 14, 2022. Beginning that day, face coverings will no longer be required indoors on our campuses or at our sites. Free KN95 face coverings are available at each campus’ NOVA Parking & NOVACard Office for employees and students who want one.

Additional safety protocols continuing into the foreseeable future include posting handwashing signage, placing hygiene stations with antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers in classrooms and hallways, continued monitoring and making necessary improvements to indoor air quality and maintaining enhanced cleaning protocols.

Will I be required to wear a face covering in NOVA buildings?

Yes, until Monday, March 14. Beginning that day, VCCS’ face covering mandate is suspended and face coverings will no longer be required indoors on our campuses or at our sites. Free KN95 face coverings are available at each campus’ NOVA Parking & NOVACard Office for employees and students who want one.

Will NOVA have free face coverings available?

Yes. Free KN95 face coverings are available at each campus’ NOVA Parking & NOVACard Office for employees and students who want one.

Is NOVA requiring vaccinations for faculty, staff and students?

On January 15, 2022, Governor Youngkin rescinded the vaccine mandate for all state employees. Please click here to read Executive Directive Number Two.

To date, there has been no indication from the Commonwealth or VCCS of a vaccination requirement for students. NOVA strongly encourages all students to get vaccinated. Every vaccinated student who shows their vaccination card at a NOVA Parking Office will receive a $250 COVID vaccination NOVACard credit and an additional one-time $85 COVID booster NOVACard credit. Students can use their NOVACard to pay for books, food and many other benefits and services on campus. To find a time and place to get your first, second or third dose, visit https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/.

What class formats are available?

NOVA is offering classes in a variety of formats, and students can select the mode of classes that works best for them.

In addition to providing a full schedule of on-campus courses, NOVA continues to offer zoom and online courses for students seeking to learn at a distance. We are also providing both on-campus and virtual student services to ensure our NOVA Nighthawks can find the support they need.

What should I do if I feel ill or contract COVID-19?

Faculty, staff and students who show symptoms of COVID-19 or have reason to believe they are infected should contact a healthcare professional and get tested for COVID-19. If you are feeling ill or think you may have been exposed, please refer to CDC guidelines for additional information:

Faculty, staff or students who test positive should notify the Office of Emergency Management and Safety at oem@nvcc.edu. The College will make reasonable accommodations for students who test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.

Additional details can be found in NOVA’s Contagious Diseases Policy and Procedure.

How do I report a COVID-19 case/close contact exposure?

Faculty, staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 should report their positive COVID-19 test results to the Office of Emergency Management and Safety by emailing oem@nvcc.edu. NOVA does not do contact tracing, but reporting positive test results helps the Office of Emergency Management and Safety monitor cases. Employees are encouraged to reach out to Human Resources at benefits@nvcc.edu for more information about benefits available to employees who test positive for COVID-19, including Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL).

Who can I talk to if this situation makes me feel stressed or overwhelmed?

The pandemic has brought with it stress and increased levels of fear and anxiety. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.

NOVA provides resources to benefit eligible employees and qualified family members through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) available through the employee’s health plan providers. Visit https://www.dhrm.virginia.gov/employeebenefits/employee-assistance for a detailed list of services.

NOVA’s Office of Wellness and Mental Health can connect students with resources and services related to wellness and mental health. Please contact wellness@nvcc.edu for more information.

NOVA also provides students access to 24/7 virtual mental health care at no cost through TimelyCare – a new telehealth program for students.

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