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Safe Return to Campus

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The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and NOVA are continually monitoring the public health of our community, transmission rates and guidance from authoritative sources, including the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

Here is what you need to know:

Face Coverings Are Required

On Wednesday, August 4, Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community College System (VCCS) directed all VCCS institutions – including NOVA – to re-implement mandatory face coverings for all individuals indoors on our campuses or at our sites, regardless of vaccination status, effective Thursday, August 5. Additional details can be found in NOVA’s Temporary COVID-19 Face Covering Policy.

Free face coverings are available at each campus’ NOVA Parking & NOVACard Office for anyone who needs one.

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/.

Virginia Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement for State Employees

Governor Northam’ Executive Directive Number 18 (2021) requires all NOVA employees – including full-time and part-time faculty and staff, adjunct faculty, wage employees, volunteers, work-study students and interns – to disclose their vaccine status by Wednesday, September 1.

Employees who are not fully vaccinated or refuse disclosure of their vaccination status, will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and disclose the results of those tests. When applicable, employees may request a religious or medical accommodation to the COVID-19 testing requirements.

Click Here to Disclose Vaccination Status or Test Results

Thank you for all you are doing to keep our community healthy!

Key Resources

Virginia Department of Health Coronavirus Website: Daily 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 Fall 2021 FAQ

What safety protocols remain in place?

Based on current CDC guidance and VCCS/NOVA policy, all individuals are required to wear a face covering indoors on our campuses or at our sites, regardless of vaccination status.

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. As of Thursday, August 5, all individuals are required to wear a face covering indoors on our campuses or at our sites, regardless of vaccination status. This will remain in effect until further notice.

The removal of face coverings is allowed in certain situations. For example, instructors can remove their face covering when teaching from a six-foot distance and individuals working alone in an office can remove their face covering. Students and employees may also remove their face covering for purposes of eating or drinking where permitted. Additional details can be found in NOVA’s Temporary COVID-19 Face Covering Policy.

Will NOVA have free face coverings available?

Yes. Face coverings are available at each campus’ NOVA Parking & NOVACard Office for anyone who needs one.

Is NOVA requiring vaccinations for faculty, staff and students?

Governor Northam’s Executive Directive Number 18 (2021) requires all NOVA employees – including full-time and part-time faculty and staff, adjunct faculty, wage employees, volunteers, work-study students and interns – to disclose their vaccine status by Wednesday, September 1.

Employees who are not fully vaccinated or refuse to disclose their vaccination status, will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and disclose the results of those tests. When applicable, employees may request a religious or medical accommodation to the COVID-19 testing requirements.

To date, there has been no indication from the Commonwealth or VCCS of a vaccination requirement for students. NOVA strongly encourages all NOVA students to get vaccinated; and every vaccinated student who shows their vaccination card at a NOVA Parking Office will receive a $250 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 will be available this fall?

NOVA is closely monitoring local developments and is offering classes in a variety of formats this fall, from fully remote classes offered through NOVA Online to in-person classes held on one of our six campuses.

VCCS and NOVA do not currently have a social distancing policy in place, but in the event of any changes, the most up-to-date information will be posted on NOVA’s Covid-19 Resources webpage.

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?

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is responsible for conducting contact tracing in Virginia. If VDH determines that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, they will contact you directly.

Faculty, staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 must also 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. Human Resources will reach out via email to any employee who tests positive with more information about benefits (including Public Health Emergency Leave).

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.

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