Oct. 25, 2021

Sent on behalf of the Continuity of Operations Taskforce

The COVID pandemic continues to evolve, as do our various directives based on the best available information from the CDC and FDA. At this time, we have achieved over 99% vaccination among employees and students and continue to move toward 100%.

Social Events

We will maintain our universal masking and vaccination policies because they have proved to be effective. At the same time, we are making adjustments to allow for more social activities in a prudent manner.

Questions have begun to arise concerning social events and end-of-year gatherings. These events will be permitted as follows:

If held on campus, masking is always required except when eating boxed meals and drinking either bottled drinks or poured drinks from servers. Social distancing must be observed when masks are removed.

If held off-campus, masking is required as much as possible except when drinking either bottled or poured drinks and eating either boxed or plated meals. Social distancing should be observed as much as possible when masks are removed.

Plans for such events must be submitted in advance to Dr. C. Donald Combs, combscd@evms.edu, for review and approval. GME programs should submit their plans to Dr. Linda R. Archer, archerlr@evms.edu.

Events such as these are not risk free. We encourage planners to remember we are not yet back to where we were before the pandemic, and continued attention must be paid to behaving as safely as possible.

International travel

The international situation is slowly improving, but remains highly risky. The Task Force continues to monitor information provided by the CDC and the State Department and to work with Risk Management to determine when such travel may be sufficiently safer to merit a change in our position. We will provide additional information when we can.

Booster shots

Booster doses are encouraged for eligible employees, but are not mandatory. Booster shots are available through the Virginia Department of Health and many local pharmacies.

As always, thank you for your continued support and cooperation.