Current Health Advisories
Influenza activity continues to increase in our community and the CDC is reporting some of the highest levels of flu activity in recent years. The annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu. Vaccination helps prevent infection and can also prevent serious outcomes in people who get vaccinated but still get sick with the flu.
Students can schedule flu shots online from their Student webportal, call the office for an appointment, or get a flu shot after the appointment at the clinic. The shots are free to students.
Employees can protect themselves from the risk of flu-related complications by getting a flu shot at their local pharmacy, their doctor's office, at one the on-campus flu clinics for State Health Benefits Program participants (operated by COVA-participating pharmacy) or by contacting Employee Health Services.
For more information about how to get a flu shot on campus, see HR Flu Clinics.
The VCU Public Health Response Team is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health and VCU Health System to monitor the spread of monkeypox, a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. For current information about monkeypox — including signs and symptoms, prevention, and more — visit the VDH website and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
We each have roles and responsibilities to promote safety in our learning, work and living environments. Take precautions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 based on the COVID-19 “community-level” in your area.
VCU follows guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stay in-the-know by checking health advisories and community levels on the CDC website. This site also includes information about individual health precautions including masking, staying up-to-date on vaccinations and testing when necessary.
For more information about exposure, when to quarantine and understanding your risk, visit www.cdc.gov/
VCU offers COVID-19 testing on campus for students at no cost. More information about student testing can be found on the University Student Health Services website.
Students and employees are encouraged to report COVID-19 symptoms and/or positive tests to University Student Health Services or Employee Health Services to receive more information about exposure, testing and isolation/quarantine. More information can also be found at www.cdc.gov/
With the concurrence of our Public Health Response Team, VCU strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination and boosters. Unvaccinated individuals are more likely to become infected and hospitalized compared to those who are vaccinated. VCU continues to offer a number of on-campus vaccination opportunities by appointment.
Students: Make an appointment online through University Student Health Services.
Employees: Call VCU Employee Health at (804) 828-0584 to schedule an appointment. Find more information and employee resources on the Employee Health COVID-19 page.
To search all vaccination opportunities near you, visit vaccines.gov.
Public Health Supplies
VCU Facilities Management provides public health supplies (e.g., face coverings and hand sanitizers) throughout campus based on supply.
Students and employees can use their VCU ID to obtain face coverings at no cost from vending machines located throughout campus. Individuals are allotted two swipes per item per month (i.e., two of each item can be obtained each month).
Monroe Park Campus
Vending Machine Locations:
- James Branch Cabell Library, 1st floor, center of building, near the printers
- Student Commons, 1st floor, near Suite 104
Vending Machine Locations:
- Larrick Student Center, right of Starbucks
- McGlothlin Medical Education Center, 1st floor, across from the elevators
Masking is voluntary indoors and outdoors on campus, with the exception of clinical settings and health system facilities. VCU’s Public Health Response Team continues to strongly encourage masking for individuals at risk for severe COVID-19 infection. Community members who wish to wear masks are also encouraged to do so — we must all continue to treat one another with kindness and respect.
There are no longer physical distancing requirements, density restrictions or masking requirements at events.
For current information about VCU Residential Life and Housing guidelines in response to COVID-19, such as quarantine, isolation and other information, visit https://housing.vcu.edu/together/.
Student and employee travelers should refer to the CDC and U.S. Department of State to be fully informed of potential health risks in their destinations and the most up-to-date travel restrictions and requirements, such as testing and masking, that may be in place. Student and employee international travelers should continually check the latest travel advisories before and during their travels.
Definition of “university-sanctioned international travel”: University-sanctioned international travel is defined as any travel activities outside the United States of America or its territories engaged in by students, employees and/or community members (whose travel is funded by VCU) related to the individual’s position or role at the university, regardless of the source of funds. This includes, but is not limited to, travel related to instruction, research or business such as conferences, presentations, recruiting, site/program assessment or development, credit-bearing or non-credit bearing education abroad, internships, service-learning, volunteer or work programs, fellowships, athletics events, field studies, or professional development activities. This does not include travel activities engaged in by students or employees in a personal capacity such as personal vacations and personal travel; individual travel that has no affiliation with VCU is not monitored by the university.
Definition of "essential travel": Essential travel is defined as supporting activities that are necessary for work (for employees) and must be done in person. Essential travel may include research, teaching, study/education abroad and other activities of immediate importance to the university’s mission. We encourage students and employees to frequently refer to the CDC and U.S. Department of State to be fully informed of potential health risks and the most up-to-date travel requirements and restrictions that may be in place.
Definition of "domestic travel": University-sanctioned domestic travel is defined as any travel activities within the United States of America or its territories engaged in by VCU students, employees, and/or community members related to the individual’s position or role at the university, regardless of the source of funds.
Travel to Level 1 or 2 countries: University-sanctioned international travel is permitted for faculty, staff and students to U.S. Department of State Level 1 or 2 countries without need to petition VCU’s International Travel Advisory Committee. Employees are reminded to coordinate travel through their department and VCU Procurement, and students must coordinate international travel plans through the Global Education Office. All student travelers must coordinate university-sanctioned international travel plans through GEO and follow all GEO registration requirements and CDC guidance for international travel.
Travel to Level 3 or 4 countries: University-sanctioned international travel to U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 countries is prohibited. An exception to this travel prohibition for essential purposes will be considered by petition to VCU's International Travel Advisory Committee (ITAC); ITAC will make the final decision. Petitions to Level 4 destinations that contain “do not travel” risk indicators other than COVID-19 will not be considered. Employees should not complete the travel pre-approval process in ChromeRiver until ITAC has made a final decision. This petition process does not replace fiscal/administrative levels of approval for travel, and exists for review of an exception to the travel prohibition only. Students and employees should complete the appropriate petition process. Frequently asked questions about the ITAC petition process can be found on the ITAC website; additional questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Travel Advisory Committee: The International Travel Advisory Committee reviews petitions for an exception to current restrictions on university-sanctioned travel. ITAC develops and implements the petition and petition review processes and makes recommendations for international travel policies for university employees and students from a risk management and safety standpoint. The purpose of the ITAC review process is to provide a holistic assessment of the risk of travel for the individual petitioner going to the specific destination for the particular purpose indicated. For more information about ITAC, including FAQs, please visit the ITAC website at global.vcu.edu/itac.
Travel, variants and vaccines: Per CDC guidelines, all international travelers should make sure they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines before travel. Per CDC guidelines for international travel, vaccination is still the best way to protect yourself from severe disease and slow the spread of COVID-19. VCU encourages but does not require full vaccination. Travelers may be subject to requirements imposed by non-VCU entities, including vaccination and testing requirements, where applicable. Unvaccinated travelers should follow the CDC’s current recommendations regarding pre- and post-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine.
Student international travel: In addition to following VCU’s guidelines for university-sanctioned international travel, students must:
Comply with airline and destination requirements, such as testing, vaccination, mask wearing and quarantine. Students should be aware that if they do not follow the destination’s requirements, they may be denied entry and required to return to the United States. Students should check with the Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page for destination-specific entry requirements.
Enroll in VCU’s international health insurance plan with Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) to cover health care and emergency evacuation while abroad.
Students who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 should discuss their international travel plans with their health care provider.
“Student international travel” includes all university-sanctioned international travel engaged in by admitted undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree- or certificate-seeking students including credit- and non-credit-bearing experiences; this includes group and individual international programs and experiences facilitated by the Global Education Office (GEO), by other units, or undertaken independently by an individual student as a part of their education.
Students may face unpredictable circumstances accessing medical care if they get sick or injured in their host country. Routine health care and emergency medical services may be impacted by COVID-19 at the destination.
VCU will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC, U.S. Department of State, and Virginia Department of Health, as well as the destinations’ offices of foreign affairs and ministries of health to make recommendations regarding student international travel and VCU’s programs abroad. Students are encouraged to visit the Navigating COVID-19 Abroad website for ways they can plan a study abroad experience during the ongoing global pandemic.
VCUArts Qatar students, employees and/or community members (whose travel is funded by VCU): Travel within Qatar is considered domestic travel for the purpose of ITAC petitions. Travel across international borders would be subject to review by ITAC, but not travel within Qatar or to the U.S.
Travel to VCUArts Qatar: Travel to VCUArts Qatar does not require a petition to ITAC.
Domestic travel: University-sanctioned domestic travel is permitted. Travelers should follow CDC recommendations. Travel review and approval will continue through existing channels.
For information about GRTC's response to COVID-19, visit GRTC's website at http://ridegrtc.com/news-initiatives/news-updates/grtc-and-covid-19-coronavirus.
Navigating the anticipated stressors of daily life can often be challenging enough. When unexpected stressors emerge or when we are faced with uncertainty, it can be tough to know how to cope. Try out some of these tips and resources for health and wellness to see if they are a right fit for you.