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Nova Southeastern University has reversed course on requiring students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law regulations on “vaccine passports.”
On Wednesday, Nova made the announcement that it would in fact no longer be requiring vaccination for attendance. Back on April 1, the university said that those returning to in-person classrooms in the fall would have to be vaccinated.
“...Due to a new Florida law, the university is unable to maintain such a policy,” NSU said in a statement. “NSU Florida always follows the letter and spirit of the law....”
In a letter penned by NSU President George Hanbury II, he says “NSU applauds the governor and the state for this mammoth effort to protect so many of our fellow citizens. Additionally, NSU has sites not only on our Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus but also at select regional campuses where you can receive the vaccine easily and conveniently.”
On Monday, DeSantis had signed an order that invalidates all local emergency COVID-19 orders. He also signed in a law that, among other things, says businesses, schools and governments may not require proof of vaccinations. If they do, they can be fined up to $5,000 per incident. It goes into effect July 1.
When it comes to lifting some COVID-19 safety restrictions on NSU campuses, the university has set a minimum threshold of 80% of on-campus students who have reported they were voluntarily vaccinated, Hanbury wrote.
The university has created the NSU Vax Max program, which calls for voluntary disclosure with supporting documentation that a student has been fully vaccinated.
“I believe we can do it,” Hanbury wrote. “We can get to, and even exceed, that 80% threshold of voluntarily vaccinated on-campus students by August 1 and return to the in-person learning environment and on-campus lifestyle we all treasure and miss so much.”