June 8, 2021

Sent on behalf of the Continuity of Operations Taskforce

EVMS has navigated the COVID-19 pandemic by following recommendations from the CDC and the Commonwealth of Virginia and by balancing safety constraints and the need to operate as freely as possible within those constraints. Based on new recommendations from both the CDC and the Commonwealth, we are preparing to return to much more flexible operations.


EVMS expects all employees and students to get vaccinated as soon as possible. We know that many in the EVMS community are fully vaccinated; however, vaccination of all employees and students is critical to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to return to regular, in-person activities.

On or before June 18, EVMS will announce its procedures for requiring and documenting COVID-19 vaccination by August 1, 2021 for all students participating in in-person instruction and training activities, and for employees, pending FDA approval of the vaccines and maintaining the usual exemptions for medical and religious reasons. Students who are enrolled in online programs and who are not taking any on-campus courses are exempt from this requirement.

Masking and Social Distancing Requirements

We are modifying the masking and social distancing protocols, differentiating between those employees and students who are fully vaccinated and those who are only partially vaccinated or unvaccinated. Effective immediately, vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask in non-clinical settings and social distancing is no longer required.

Masks and use of recommended personal protective equipment are still required in all clinical settings where EVMS staff and students encounter patients. EVMS clinical settings will continue to restrict visitors until further notice. As always, EVMS clinical faculty, residents and students must follow the protocols of their host facility when visiting other organizations.

EVMS is modifying its masking and social distancing requirements by differentiating between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated/partially vaccinated employees and students as follows:

Fully Vaccinated Individuals

For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson [J&J]/Janssen).

Individuals who have received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is listed for emergency use by WHO (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., COMIRNATY, Tozinameran), AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., Covishield, Vaxzevria), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine) do not need any additional doses with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

Masks and social distancing are not required in non-clinical areas of EVMS, to include:

  • Research labs
  • Teaching areas (conference rooms, classrooms, lecture halls, study rooms, etc.)
  • Administrative work areas (offices, carrels, conference rooms)
  • Break rooms (including clinical staff breakrooms where patients are not allowed)

Additional information concerning the applicability of these requirements to specific EVMS buildings may be found at the end of this message.

For the fully vaccinated, the implications of these changes are that we can return to in-person meetings, education conferences (Grand Rounds, departmental meetings, etc.) and similar gatherings without masks, restrictions on room capacity, or social distancing.

Unvaccinated/Partially Vaccinated Individuals

Masks must be worn and social distancing must be observed at all times, whether inside or outside of buildings, except when alone and in private spaces such as an office.

For those unvaccinated/partially vaccinated, attendance at educational, research or administrative meetings is allowed; however, a mask is required. In addition, individuals should maintain social distance during these activities. Please note: Unvaccinated individuals are at a significantly increased risk for getting serious COVID-19 illness and for spreading COVID-19 to others, including those who are immunocompromised.

During a group gathering, if any individual asks for everyone to remain masked, all individuals in the meeting should remain masked.

Additional considerations

Given the intermingling of clinical and non-clinical spaces across the EVMS campus, employees and students should always have a mask with them.

Classrooms and conference rooms should allow adequate space for unvaccinated individuals to socially distance. Occupancy in these rooms can increase from the COVID-19 social distancing capacity limits.

The expanded sanitation protocols remain in place.

Food and drink in settings other than restaurants remain limited to bottles and boxes.

A general guide to clinical and non-clinical spaces on the EVMS Campus follows:

  • Fully Vaccinated Individuals (must have proof of vaccination on file with EVMS Occupational Health):
    • Masks are not required in teaching, research or administrative areas (conference rooms, classrooms, lecture halls, labs, office suites, break rooms) in:
      • Waitzer Hall
      • Lester Hall
      • Andrews Hall, Floors 1, 4 (admin offices) and 5
      • Williams Hall, A and B Wings (HADSI and Research Administration, Community Health and Research Division)
      • Lewis Hall (Masks are required in animal holding areas of the vivarium.)
      • Hofheimer Hall, Floors 2 and 7 and administrative offices
    • Masks are required in all clinical areas (including common areas, elevators and bathrooms) in:
      • Hofheimer Hall (excludes 7th floor conference rooms and auditorium)
      • Andrews Hall, floors 1 (common areas), 2, 3 and 4 (Student Health Clinic)
      • Williams Hall, C Wing (Pulmonary/Critical Care, Strelitz Diabetes)
      • Jones Institute (IVF activities on floors 1 and 2)
    • Masks are required in any group gathering where the meeting host has asked individuals to remain masked.
  • Unvaccinated/Partially Vaccinated Individuals:
    • Masks must be worn at all times in all locations, whether inside or outside of buildings, except when alone and in private spaces such as an office or outdoors and away from others. In addition, social distance (more than 6 feet) must be maintained at in-person educational, research or administrative meetings.

We are grateful for the patience, understanding and support shown by the members of the EVMS community as we continue to work our way through the pandemic as safely as we can.

Thank you.