May 14, 2021

Sent on behalf of C. Donald Combs, PhD, Vice President and Dean of the School of Health Professions, Chair of the Continuity of Operations Committee

This is an important follow-up to the Town Hall and communication from the Continuity of Operations Task Force earlier this week.

EVMS continues to proceed cautiously through the pandemic, balancing the desire for less restrictive policies with a commitment to maintaining a safe learning and working environment. Presently, only about 50% of EVMS students and employees are vaccinated, and that fact has to be considered in our policy deliberations.

Yesterday, President Biden announced that the CDC has revised its guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. The new CDC guidance is that fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks or observe social distancing. It is important to note that guidance is constrained by more specific guidance from state and local authorities.

In Virginia, Governor Northam has indicated the Commonwealth will loosen its regulations in mid-June. His guidance may or may not change as a result of the new CDC guidance.

That is the uncertainty of the pandemic context in which EVMS operates. As such, current EVMS policy is that masks are not required outdoors for anyone. Indoors, EVMS requires masking and social distancing for everyone.This policy remains in force.

The Continuity of Operations Task Force will continue to monitor the situation in real time, and will provide as much clarity as possible as changes to EVMS policies are warranted. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.