Spring 2022 Semester Operational Plan

PRES-Spring-2022-Operational-Plan-E-header

February 24, 2022 Update

Dear Radford Family,

We have had a great start to the spring semester, and remain pleased and encouraged that COVID-19 and the most recent Omicron variant infection rates continue to decline. Your commitment to the health, safety and well-being of our community has been strong. The number of weekly positive cases continues to decrease and vaccination rates of our students and employees remain high. Cases in our local area/health district are declining as we enter into an endemic phase of the global pandemic. Based on the current state of public health conditions both locally and on campus, Radford University will move to an indoor mask optional policy effective Friday, March 4, 2022.

We recognize that some members of our community may choose to continue to wear masks. The use of masks is supported and encouraged for all who choose to wear one. This is particularly important for individuals who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 and individuals with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe infection. We encourage a “mask friendly” approach, whereby those who wish to wear a mask respect those who do not, and those who do not wish to wear a mask respect those who do. As a campus community, we ask that everyone demonstrate empathy and understanding toward each other as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together. 

Due to existing federal requirements and recommendations, some indoor locations and/or services on main campus will still require masking. This includes public transit and clinical care locations. These locations and/or services will be clearly marked by signage. Specific examples include Radford Transit, the Student Health Center located in Moffett Hall and the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic located in Waldron Hall.  Compliance in these or other similar locations marked with University signage is required by anyone 2 years of age or older in order to access the area or service.

The masking requirements for students, faculty and staff at Radford University Carilion (RUC) remain in effect at this time due to the location within a health care facility (Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital). The university remains in close contact with Carilion Clinic partners and will advise of any changes regarding masking at RUC.

The university will continue to have masks available including KN95 masks. KN95 masks are available at Facilities Management upon request or at the following locations across main campus: Bonnie Information Desk, McConnell Library Information Desk, Parking Services – Heth Hall and RUC Administration Suite, 3rd floor.

The University will continue to offer COVID-19 testing to students, faculty, staff and contractors at Young Hall on main campus.  With the discontinuation of the required weekly testing the overall volume of weekly testing is much less.  Effective Monday, February 28, 2022 the adjusted hours of the Young Hall testing center on main campus are:

  • Mondays - 10 a.m. to noon
  • Tuesdays - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesdays - 3 to 5 p.m.

Testing at RUC will continue to be offered in the boardroom on the third floor (Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital) the first and third Wednesday and second and fourth Thursday of each month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Testing will not be available on main campus or at RUC during the week of Spring Break, March 5 through 12, 2022. 

Keeping up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations remains the most effective tool to fight COVID-19 and prevent against severe illness. Booster clinics will continue to be offered both on main campus and at RUC.

Members of our community that are symptomatic or sick should stay home until cleared by a healthcare provider or a negative COVID-19 test result is received. For individuals that test positive for COVID-19 or are a confirmed close contact, following a 5-day period of isolation or quarantine, are required to wear a well-fitting mask for days 6 through 10.

Since the start of the pandemic, Radford has relied on public health guidelines and our COVID-19 Workgroup to inform COVID-19 policies. The steps that each of our students, faculty and staff have taken and continue to take to support the well-being of our campus community is extraordinary.  While case counts may fluctuate as the pandemic becomes an endemic, we are confident that our individual commitment to the well-being of our Highlander community will help us continue to move forward successfully.

With Highlander Pride,

Carolyn Ringer Lepre, Ph.D.
Interim President

grey bar

January 31, 2022 Update

To the University Community:

Consistent with a legal opinion issued by the Virginia Attorney General on January 26, 2022, Radford University will no longer require COVID-19 vaccinations or booster shots for students as a general condition of enrollment or in-person attendance. Weekly testing for students not fully vaccinated is no longer required. All employees and students, regardless of campus location, are still required to wear facemasks indoors.  Several locations across campus will continue to provide disposable masks and KN95 masks.

We are extremely proud of the diligence of our Highlander family and your continued efforts to promote the health of our community. COVID-19 testing and booster clinics will remain available for all employees and students as we remain steadfast in our commitment to promoting the health and wellness of our campus. We encourage our students who receive a booster to submit documentation through the secure Medicat portal. Faculty and staff who receive a booster are also encouraged to submit their status using the Employee COVID Booster Submission Form.

The upcoming booster clinic is listed below.

Date:  Friday, Feb. 11

Hours: 10 a.m. – noon

Location: Heth Hall, room 014

What to Bring: Valid ID and vaccination card

Registration is required.  See link below.

February 11, 2022 Registration

We are working to schedule additional clinics at RUC and will provide the time and location once those are scheduled.

Please continue to visit www.radford.edu/covid for up-to-date information. We also recommend staying abreast of COVID-19 developments and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health authorities.

With Highlander Pride,

Carolyn Ringer Lepre, Ph.D
Interim President

grey bar

January 6, 2022 Update

Dear Highlander Family:

As we usher in a new year, I hope each of you enjoyed a safe and healthy break and I look forward to being together again during the Spring 2022 semester!

As you and other members of our community return to campus, the health and well-being of the Radford University family remains our central focus. In doing so, some initiatives are necessary for us as a University; however, much of our progress rests in the hands of each individual as we continue to navigate the global health pandemic. Since releasing the Spring 2022 Operational Plan in October, there have been a number of developments, such as Omicron, the latest variant that is the predominant strain of the virus, and the CDC updated guidance for isolation and quarantine.

As you may be aware, college campuses around the country, as well as here in Virginia, are having to reexamine best practices for remaining healthy while continuing the important mission of teaching and learning.

In preparation for the Spring 2022 semester, the Radford University’s COVID-19 Working Group is providing revised recommendations related to health and safety protocols for our community. The information outlined below updates and supplements the Spring 2022 Operational Plan.

Spring 2022 Operational Plan Updates

The spring semester will start as planned with the first day of classes on January 18, 2022. University owned and operated housing reopens on January 13, 2022 for students to return during their chosen appointment time. To balance density, appointments can still be scheduled through the housing portal in OneCampus.  

Students who are sick or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should stay home until symptoms resolve, a negative COVID-19 test result is received and/or are cleared by a healthcare provider. The Dean of Students Office will assist students with late arrival needs.

Vaccine/Booster

Vaccination remains the most effective tool to combat COVID-19. The CDC recommends COVID-19 booster shots at two to six months after the initial vaccine series completion, depending upon type of vaccine received (five months after Pfizer, six months after Moderna and two months after J&J). Effective immediately, Radford University is expanding its COVID-19 vaccine mandate to include the requirement of booster shots for students within fourteen (14) days of eligibility. Fully vaccinated students currently at or beyond the booster eligibility window must provide documentation of receiving the booster by no later than February 15, 2022. Students not yet eligible to receive a booster must do so and provide documentation within fourteen (14) days of eligibility. Documentation of the COVID-19 booster can be uploaded through the secure Medicat portal. Students enrolled in a fully online program with no in-person engagement or physical presence on campus remain exempt from the vaccine and booster requirement, as do students previously receiving a medical or religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible students that do not provide documentation of being boosted by the February 15, 2022 deadline or within fourteen (14) days of booster eligibility may be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing and may not be eligible to register for future semesters.   

Faculty and staff are also required to disclose their booster status within fourteen (14) days of eligibility. Fully vaccinated faculty and staff at or beyond the booster eligibility window must disclose their status, using the Employee COVID Booster Submission Form no later than February 15, 2022. Employees not yet eligible to receive a booster must do so and provide documentation within fourteen (14) days of eligibility. Eligible employees that do not provide documentation of being boosted by the February 15, 2022 deadline or within fourteen (14) days of booster eligibility may be required to participate in COVID-19 testing.

Boosters will be available, at no cost, to interested students, faculty, staff or contractors during entry testing on main campus, January 13-16, 2022 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Boosters will be available, at no cost, to interested students, faculty, staff or contractors at RUC on January 21, 2022. Time and location will be provided.  Additional booster clinics will be scheduled at both locations.

Isolation and Quarantine

The University currently uses a ten (10) day period of isolation and quarantine and will continue to do so. The updated CDC guidance related to isolation and quarantine provides options to shorten either period. The updated guidance also expands quarantine to include vaccinated individuals who have a known exposure and are eligible for the booster but have not yet received it. When circumstances are appropriate, the University may apply these shortened timeframes for isolation and quarantine followed by a period of strict wearing of a well-fitted face mask.   

Masking

The Omicron variant is highly transmissible, more so than the virus and previous variants. The existing indoor masking requirement, regardless of vaccination status, will remain in effect. Students living in residence halls will be required to wear a well-fitted face mask when in hallways, lounges, kitchens or other common spaces other than the assigned room.

The University’s Spring 2022 Operational Plan discusses health and safety protocols that have not been updated or modified. The University will continue to monitor this endemic phase of COVID-19, evaluate and adjust when or as appropriate.

Let’s continue our unwavering commitment to the health and safety of each other in addition to ourselves. This is so important as it supports who we are as Highlanders and the progress we will make together.

With Highlander Pride,

Carolyn Ringer Lepre, Ph.D.
Interim President

grey bar

October 13, 2021 Update

Executive Summary

As news of a novel coronavirus swept across the world in early 2020, Radford University worked quickly to implement fully virtual learning and operating systems. After spring break in March 2020, faculty, staff and students finished the semester away from campus. This allowed sufficient time to assimilate guidance from world and national health experts. On July 27, 2020, with health and safety protocols in place, the Highlander family returned to campus and successfully completed the 2020-2021 academic year in person.

As conditions began to improve in Summer 2021, Radford lifted some of the more sweeping protocols including physical distancing, revised room capacities, dedicated entrances and exits, two-person elevator limit, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols. At the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester, the visitor registration process was discontinued. However, RUC’s protocols remained somewhat stricter due to the campus location in Community Hospital. As this semester progresses and the pandemic shifts, Radford University will continue to make positive strides to return to normal “pre-COVID” processes. Plans for Winter Commencement are well underway and details will be available soon. We are excited to celebrate the achievements of our students with their families and friends.

As we have been doing throughout the pandemic, we will continue to closely monitor guidance from the Center for Disease Control, Virginia Department of Health, Commonwealth of VA and other agencies regarding needed protocols. The health and safety of our community and its members remains at the core of each decision made.

Spring 2022 Plan

Academic Calendar

With our community’s continued commitment and dedication to the health and safety of its members as demonstrated through our COVID-19 vaccination rates – we will observe the Spring 2022 semester as previously published, including the opportunity for our students to enjoy a week-long Spring Break.

Spring 2022 Calendar

  • Thursday, Jan. 13 – Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022: Move-in
  • Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022:  Spring Classes Begin
  • Monday, Jan. 24, 2022: Last day for Undergraduate to drop/add
  • Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022: Last day to change Pass/Fail or Audit options; Last day grad students to drop/add; last day for grad students to register for graduation; census date and last day to withdraw with a full tuition refund
  • March 5 – March 13, 2022: Spring Break
  • Friday, March 18, 2022: Mid-Semester grades due by 10 a.m.
  • Friday, April 1, 2022: Last day to withdraw from One or more (but not all) classes with a grade of “W”
  • Friday, April 15, 2022: Last Day to withdraw from University (all classes) with a grade of “W”
  • Friday, April 29, 2022: Last Day of Classes
  • May 2 – May 5, 2022: Spring Exams:
  • Friday, May 6, 2022:  Main Campus Graduate Degree Conferral and Spring Commencement Ceremony
  • Saturday, May 7, 2022: Main Campus Undergraduate Degree Conferral and Spring Commencement Ceremony
  • Sunday, May 8, 2022: Radford University Carilion (RUC) Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Conferral and Spring Commencement Ceremony
  • Monday, May 9, 2022:  Grades Due by 10 a.m.

Health and Safety Protocols

At the time this document is published, health and safety protocols outlined are in accordance with CDC, VDH or Commonwealth of Virginia recommendations and requirements. As recommendations and/or requirements change, the University will review, consider and adjust as necessary or appropriate for our community to ensure health and safety.

The following will remain in effect:

  • COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students learning, living and engaging in-person on-campus or through an external placement. Students enrolled in a fully online program (no in-person engagement or physical presence on campus at any point) are exempt. Medical and religious exemptions may be requested.  Vaccination documentation or medical or religious exemption request can be uploaded via a secure Medicat website at https://radford.medicatconnect.com or emailed to healthrecords@radford.edu .  Students not fully vaccinated will be required to participate in regular COVID-19 testing.  Currently, participation in entry and weekly testing is required for partially or unvaccinated students.
  • COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees as outlined in Governor Northam’s Executive Directive Number Eighteen – Ensuring a Safe Workplace. Per this Executive Directive employees must disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status.  Employees must complete the Employee Vaccination Status Form regardless of vaccination status. If fully vaccinated, you will be prompted to upload a copy of the front of your vaccination card.  Employees not fully vaccinated or who do not disclose their vaccination status, must participate in weekly COVID-19 testing.

Daily Symptom Tracker

  • Partially and unvaccinated students and employees are still required to complete the symptom tracker daily
  • Fully vaccinated students and employees are not required to complete the daily tracker, but it remains available as optional resource.

Visitor Check-in Process at RUC

Because of its clinical setting, RUC still requires visitors in check in before proceeding past the lobby area.

Masking

The CDC recommends indoor masking, regardless of vaccination status in areas of substantial or high rates of transmission of COVID-19.  On August 16, 2021, the University implemented a temporary requirement for face masks to be worn in indoor spaces regardless of vaccine status. This includes classrooms, common spaces, dining areas unless someone is eating, or other indoor areas where multiple people can gather or engage.  Area COVID-19 transmission rates are reviewed weekly.

Additional Considerations

Athletics

Radford University athletic teams will engage in practice and competitive play in accordance with NCAA and Big South Conference requirements

Student Health Services

Consistent with Fall 2021, staff will make any necessary adjustments to processes and staffing based on student needs and utilization.  Staffing is dependent upon availability.

Travel

For the Spring 2022 semester, students, faculty and staff must follow current University travel policy for University-related or sponsored travel:

  • The CDC encourages partially and unvaccinated people to delay travel until fully vaccinated unless absolutely necessary. Should travel be necessary the University strongly encourages adherence to both CDC considerations and VDH guidance.
  • Travel should follow CDC guidance depending upon destination/location including recommended testing and/or quarantine.

Student Move-In

  • For Spring 2022, students will return to residence halls, apartments and University-leased housing over a period of four (4) days, utilizing a structured process. (Thursday, January 13 – Sunday, January 16, 2022)
  • Details regarding process and logistics will be distributed by the Division of Student Affairs by November 16, 2021.
  • Partially and unvaccinated students identified to participate in entry testing will be required to comply in order to gain access to their on-campus residence hall or University-owned and operated off-campus apartment.

COVID-19 Entry Testing

  • Students who are partially or unvaccinated will be required to participate in entry testing upon return to campus and/or the area.
  • Identified students will be notified by the Division of Student Affairs by no later than January 5, 2022.
  • Main Campus entry testing available from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, January 13 – Sunday, January 16, 2022, in Young Hall.
  • RUC entry testing will be available from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, January 15, 2022; in the third floor Boardroom of campus (Community Hospital).
  • Students must have a negative test prior to attending in-person classes
  • Students identified for entry testing who have been fully vaccinated can provide their vaccine card to eliminate the testing requirement. Vaccination documentation or medical or religious exemption request can be uploaded via a secure Medicat website at https://radford.medicatconnect.com or emailed to healthrecords@radford.edu
  • Students identified for entry testing who have not been vaccinated, but are interested in receiving a vaccine, should contact the Dean of Students Office prior to their arrival on campus or in the local area.

Quarantine and Isolation Housing

  • For Spring 2022 the University will offer quarantine and isolation housing for main campus students living in on-campus residence halls and RUC students living in University-leased housing.
  • For main campus, such housing will be available at an off-campus location.
  • For RUC, such housing will be available in the Patrick Henry.
  • All quarantine and isolation housing needs will be administered by the Dean of Students Office.

COVID-19 Weekly Testing

  • Students, faculty and staff interested in COVID-19 testing will have access on a weekly basis.
  • Students, faculty and staff required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing will have access.

Testing Locations and Times

Main Campus

Location: Young Hall
Schedule:

  • Monday – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday – 3 – 6 p.m.
  • Spring Break: Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and Wednesday, March 9, 2022, 4 – 6 p.m.

RUC

Location: Third floor Boardroom on campus (Community Hospital)
Schedule:

  • First and third Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Second and fourth Thursday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Spring Break: Wednesday, March 9, 2022 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Additional Procedures

  • Symptomatic students on main campus should contact Student Health at 540-831-5111.
  • Symptomatic students at RUC should contact the Nurse Navigator at 540-795-3273.
  • Symptomatic faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider.

On the Website: COVID-19 Planning and Updates and Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently Asked Questions” provides answers to commonly asked questions related to the pandemic. Remember that many answers provide general guidance and an individual’s COVID-19 vaccine or booster process unique circumstances may necessitate adjustments or different approach.

Students seeking specific guidance should contact the Dean of Students Office at dos-web@radford.edu or 540-831-6297.

Employees with questions based upon personal circumstances should contact Human Resources at 540-831-5008.