Nova Southeastern University, Cornell University, and Roger Williams College in Rhode Island joined Rutgers in requiring students to be vaccinated for the fall term. Many other colleges and universities continue to take a more guarded approach to mandating vaccinations.
After a slow start to its vaccine rollout, the state of Florida has ramped up efforts over the past month. More than 9 million people have received at least one dose, including five million who have completed their series. On Monday, all citizens over the age of 16 will be eligible to be vaccinated.
The outlook in the Sunshine State – and in many others – is prompting some college and university leaders to consider requiring vaccines for those heading back to campus for the fall semester.
One of them is Nova Southeastern University, the largest private nonprofit in Florida, which announced it will return to full in-person learning but with this caveat – faculty and students must be vaccinated by Aug. 1, with some limited exemptions.
“What makes this different from what other colleges and universities have announced for the fall semester is that NSU is mandating that all students and employees be fully vaccinated,” NSU Florida’s announcement to the community said.
NSU Florida said it will release further plans in the coming weeks. To help ease the burden of getting doses to everyone in its community, its main campus has been approved as a vaccination site.
The university has done well since last March to mitigate COVID spread throughout its campuses and says it will continue its cleaning and sanitizing protocols that led to that success. While adhering to public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it will be increasing activities, including athletics in the fall. Classes will return in person, though NSU Florida says its BrandFlex learning model will allow for some remote instruction.
“The pandemic has presented many challenges over the last year, and we came together to adapt. I am truly proud of the NSU community,” said Dr. George Hanbury, NSU Florida’s President and CEO. “It’s thanks to the vigilance of our students, faculty and staff that we’ve remained free from significant outbreaks this year.”
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