Dozens of students who were enrolled at the University of Virginia had their status reversed because they remained unvaccinated before the start of the semester, officials said Friday.
University officials disenrolled 49 students for their failure to meet the school's vaccine mandate, which was announced in May and has been met with overwhelming majority compliance. So far, more than 96% of students have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and 335 students with religious and medical exemptions have been granted permanent waivers, university officials told the Washington Post.
Just 238 students, or less than 1%, are not in compliance, "but only 49 of those students had actually selected courses, meaning that a good number of the remaining 189 may not have been planning to return to the university this fall at all, regardless of our vaccination policy," said Brian Coy, a school spokesman.
Students were asked to provide proof of vaccination by July 1, though the university has now allowed students the chance to become compliant and reenroll for fall semester classes by Aug. 25, Coy added.
UVA President Jim Ryan said in May that the driving benefit for the mandate would be to allow students to once again resume life without the need to mandate mask-wearing. However, the school recently reversed its policy and began mandating masks indoors on Aug. 9, with tentative plans to lift the measure by Sept. 6.
"We are in a much better and much different position than we were last year, primarily because of the vaccines and the extraordinarily high vaccination rate in our community," Ryan said on Aug. 11. "This means we can return in person to classes, activities, sporting events, and research labs as we have been planning to do in the fall semester, with the residential experiences that are at the heart of this university."
Hundreds of schools throughout the United States have mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for the fall semester, with some even reimposing mask mandates on fully vaccinated students due to the rise in delta variant cases. Other schools have enticed incentives for students to be vaccinated, such as gift cards and other offerings.
Other schools have adopted a punitive approach. On Thursday, it was reported that unvaccinated students at Quinnipiac University would face $100 weekly fines and lose access to the school's Wi-Fi if they don't submit proof of vaccination prior to Sept. 14.
Virginia has experienced more than 700,000 cases of COVID-19 statewide, with 11,647 deaths attributed to the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.
Representatives for UVA did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: University of Virginia reverses enrollment for unvaccinated students