COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions; FAQs
VACCINATION AND MASKS
Am I required to be vaccinated?
We ask that VSU students do their part and help us keep our campus safe by getting fully vaccinated and wearing masks at all times on campus. VSU will provide vaccination incentives for members of our Trojans community who join us in our efforts to ensure that our campus remains open, healthy, and safe.
On January 28, 2022, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares issued a legal opinion that Virginia’s state institutions of higher education cannot require the COVID-19 vaccine as a general condition of students’ enrollment or in-person attendance. In compliance with the findings of the Virginia Attorney General, Virginia State University will no longer require COVID-19 vaccinations for employees or students as a general condition of employment, enrollment or in-person attendance.
Am I required to wear a mask on campus?
Yes. VSU has a mask mandate. Face coverings must be worn on campus at all times indoors and outdoors, except when eating or alone in an individual office or dorm room.
Do I need to be “fully” vaccinated for COVID-19 (including booster shot) in order to live and/or attend classes on campus?
No. At Virginia State University, we care about the health and safety of our Trojan family, and we firmly believe in the findings of medical and health professionals who advise that vaccination is the best and most effective COVID-19 related life saving measure.
Therefore, we continue to strongly encourage all students and employees to be fully vaccinated including the booster shot. We request that our VSU Trojan community voluntarily get vaccinated as part of our joint efforts to ensure that our campus remains open, healthy, and safe. Masks are required at all times on campus.
How can I find a vaccination site?
There will be opportunities for vaccinations on campus. Please continue to check your VSU email for vaccination schedules. In addition, use the following link to find a vaccination site near you: https://www.vaccines.gov/.
Will VSU offer vaccination incentives?
Yes, VSU will offer financial vaccination incentives. Please see information below under “Booster Vaccine Incentives”.
If I am not vaccinated, will I be allowed to use on-campus facilities (library, dining hall, book store, etc.) and attend extra-curricular activities?
Yes, however masks are required at all times on campus (indoor and outdoor) regardless of vaccination status.
If I am vaccinated, do I still need to wear a mask?
Yes, masks are required at all times on campus (indoor and outdoor) regardless of vaccination status.
Does VSU provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
Yes. Students may request PPE (masks, sanitizer, etc.) from residence hall directors.
RETURN TO CAMPUS
Am I required to return to campus?
Effective Monday, January 31, 2022, all classes originally scheduled for face to face instruction will operate in-person and on-campus. Please check your class schedule on Banner for the location of your classes and continue to check your VSU email for more information from your professor.
What are my options if I don’t feel safe returning to campus?
We understand this pandemic has made people fearful, however VSU is committed to your safety and well-being and has implemented several mitigation strategies on campus to combat the spread of COVID-19.
We want to assure students that we are taking all necessary precautions to maintain a safe campus environment. Students enrolled in in-person classes are expected to attend face-to-face instruction. For your safety, VSU requires masks at all times and we encourage full vaccination (including the booster) for all students.
Where can I obtain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
Students may request PPE (masks, sanitizer, etc.) from residence hall directors.
What dining options are available on-campus?
Jones and Gateway Dining Hall are open for carryout and limited seating for dining in. Subway and Chick-Fil-a are open for carryout only.
VSU COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES
What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
If you are symptomatic, meaning you have symptoms (i.e., fever, coughing, trouble breathing, etc.), please visit Student Health to receive a COVID-19 test.
What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
Residential Students: If you test positive for COVID-19, then you may return home and isolate for five days, or you will be required to move into the on-campus isolation space for five days. After five days, if you no longer have symptoms and have received a negative COVID-19 test, you can return to campus or your assigned residence hall.
Local and Commuter Students: If you test positive for COVID-19, then you should remain off campus and isolate for five days. After five days, if you no longer have symptoms and have received a negative COVID-19 test, you may return to class and normal activity.
If I feel ill but I received a negative COVID test, should I still come go to class?
Please do not attend in-person classes if you do not feel well. Contact your professor to discuss temporary alternative options.
What is the current guidance from the CDC regarding isolation and quarantine?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has shortened the isolation and quarantine period for people with COVID-19 from 10-14 days to at least 5 days. On day 5, retake a COVID test, if possible. If the results are positive, isolate for 5 more days. If the results are negative, you may end isolation. As a reminder, the University has implemented a mask mandate. You are required to wear a mask at all times unless you are eating.
If I am selected for COVID-19 surveillance testing (random sampling), am I required to test on campus or can I choose a local testing site and upload my results?
You do not have to get tested on campus. When testing off-campus, please upload your results to Medicat immediately. If you have problems uploading to Medicat, please send your documentation to HealthCenter@vsu.edu.
Is testing on campus free?
There is no cost to get tested on campus. In addition, the USPS is delivering one shipment of four COVID tests per residential address. Visit http://usps.com/covidtest to place your free order.
If I am fully vaccinated, will I still be required to be tested?
Yes. Testing is one of many mitigation strategies used on campus to combat the spread of COVID-19. All VSU students will be included in surveillance testing (regular testing of a random sample of the population) throughout the semester.
BOOSTER VACCINE INCENTIVES
Am I eligible to receive the COVID-19 booster incentive?
Spring 2022 COVID-19 booster financial incentives will be awarded to all fully vaccinated (including booster), currently enrolled students pending verification of vaccination status. All vaccination proof must be uploaded via the university approved Medicat portal and verified by VSU staff to receive the vaccination incentive. Students must also complete the COVID-19 Booster Verification Form.
Am I eligible for the vaccine incentive funds if I filed a medical or religious exemption form?
No. Only VSU students who are fully vaccinated are eligible for the incentive.
Am I eligible for the vaccine incentive funds if I am a part-time student or taking non-credit courses?
Yes. All VSU students who meet the criteria for full vaccination are eligible for the Booster Incentive.
How much will I receive for the COVID-19 booster incentive?
Each qualified student will receive $500.
Are the incentive funds taxed?
No, incentive funds are not taxed for VSU students.
How will be funds be distributed?
Funds will be issued directly into students’ accounts via direct deposit beginning March 15, 2022 for those who provided proof of full vaccination prior to February 15, 2022. Students who do not have direct deposit will receive a paper check via mail to their address on file.
When will I receive my funds?
Incentive payments will begin March 15, 2022 for students that have completed the COVID-19 Booster Verification Form AND uploaded their actual vaccination record into Medicat. No incentive payments will be paid after May 3, 2022.
Who do I contact if my vaccination status was verified and I have not received my vaccine incentive funds?
Any student who has confirmed their vaccination status has been verified with the VSU Student Health Center and has not received funds by April 30th, should contact VSU Student Accounts at (804) 524-5506.
What should I do if I receive a duplicate or overpayment?
If you mistakenly receive duplicate or overpayment of funds, please notify the Student Accounts Office immediately and do not spend the funds as they will have to be repaid.
PROVIDING PROOF OF VACCINATION FOR INCENTIVE PAYMENT
How do I provide documentation of my vaccination status?
Students MUST upload proof of full vaccination (original authentic vaccination card including their booster) via our secure medical document portal Medicat AND complete the COVID-19 Booster Verification Form to be eligible for the vaccine incentive payment. For Medicat, your username and password are the same as your VSU email log-in.
What if Medicat does not accept my card or recognize my username?
If you experience trouble uploading your information into Medicat, you may email proof of vaccination/booster directly to: HealthCenter@VSU.edu.
How will I know if Medicat accepted my documents?
To ensure that your documents have been uploaded properly onto Medicat:
- After document submission, scroll to the bottom of the page.
- Click UPLOADS.
- At the bottom of the next page, click VIEW FILES, you should see your uploaded document.
- The system may take a few minutes to upload, so check back later before attempting to resubmit documents.
- If you experience difficulty accessing MEDICAT, please email a copy of your test results/vaccine card to HealthCenter@VSU.edu.
What is the deadline to show proof of an approved booster shot?
Students must upload proof of an approved booster shot through the Medicat Portal and COVID-19 Booster Verification Form no later than February 1, 2022 to be eligible for the vaccine incentive payment. Those who are not eligible to receive their booster by February 1, 2022 must submit proof of their booster no later than 30 days following their first day of eligibility.
What are my options if I lost my vaccination card?
You may use the Virginia Department of Health’s Self-Service Portal to access your Vaccination Record. To access your COVID-19 vaccination record, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov and click “Check my COVID-19 vaccination record.” Search for your COVID-19 vaccine record using the Vaccination Record Request Portal. Once you have accessed your record, it can be saved, printed, or downloaded as a PDF.
This website is managed by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and not VSU. If you cannot locate your COVID-19 vaccination record through the portal or you would like a record of other vaccinations, you may submit your request online. You can also contact the VIIS Help Desk at (866) 375-9795. The Help Desk will be staffed from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. For other questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).