The vaccine was said to be the key to a return to normalcy. Instead, the virulent Delta variant has provided lawmakers, institutions, businesses, and employers the opportunity to use vaccination status for a power play.
According to The Virginian-Pilot, the University of Virginia has disenrolled 238 students for failure to comply with the school’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Only 49 of the 238 students are reportedly enrolled in fall courses, leading school officials to assume that the majority of those disenrolled were not planning to return to the school at all. U.Va. spokesperson Brian Coy told The Virginian-Pilot that students were provided “multiple reminders via email, text, phone calls, calls to parents that they were out of compliance” and given until last Wednesday to either file an exemption or provide proof of vaccination status.
The University of Virginia is not the only state school to require the COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of enrollment. Quinnipiac University in Connecticut announced this month that students who fail to provide proof of vaccination by the start of the fall semester will face fines and restricted access to the school’s Wi-Fi network. In an e-mail sent out last week, the school cited concern for health across the university community, and students who fail to upload their vaccination records will face weekly fines totaling up to $2,275 for the semester. Students who remain unvaccinated will be subject to weekly testing and fines for any missed tests, as well as a loss of access to Wi-Fi on campus.
Across the country on the West Coast, Stanford University reversed its announcement that students who showed proof of vaccination would not be subject to routine COVID-19 testing. After vaccinated students tested positive for COVID on campus this summer, the school determined that all students, regardless of vaccination status, will be regularly tested. Local news reported that “Princeton, Brown, and Yale will also require weekly coronavirus tests for vaccinated students, at least for a limited time.”
These recently announced requirements in schools across the country come in the midst of a national surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations caused by the new Delta variant.