April 18, 2023-COVID-19 Updated COVID Guidance for 2023-2024 Academic Year

Dear Emory & Henry Community,

As we have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic at Emory & Henry, there were a few key principles that guided much of our thought and action. First, we wanted to follow, as closely as possible, the recommendations and guidance of our national, state, and local healthcare partners. Second, we wanted to provide the safest environment possible for our faculty, staff, students, and community. Last, we wanted to provide our students with the Emory & Henry experience defined by incredible faculty and rich social and cocurricular environments.

There is no doubt that our vaccination policies have reflected each of these principles. These, and other COVID-19 policies, allowed Emory & Henry to stay open and operating even through peaks in COVID-19 cases. There were many schools across the country that were not as fortunate.

Over the last year, we have begun to see weaker strains of the disease. Additionally, vaccination, testing, and treatment options are widely available and accessible for all. There are fewer COVID cases on our campuses and in our region. Because of this, effective May 8, 2023, Emory & Henry will no longer institute a COVID-19 vaccination policy requirement.

The change in policy does not diminish our desire for a safe campus. Emory & Henry still highly recommends staying up to date with vaccinations against COVID-19. Vaccination is an extremely valuable tool to assist in mitigation of disease spread.

Students should be aware that there may be off campus experiences that require vaccination against COVID-19. These might include internships, clinical placements, field placements, or study abroad opportunities in foreign countries. While the college is moving away from a collegiate vaccination policy, students’ participation in those experiences may still require vaccination. Students should work with their program directors, coaches, and other mentors to fully explore those requirements and ramifications.

Faculty and staff remain empowered to require masks in their classrooms and offices. Faculty, staff, and students remain empowered to wear masks as they may need. I encourage all to continue to practice good hygiene, and, I repeat, Emory & Henry still highly recommends vaccination against COVID-19.

Emory & Henry has navigated the pandemic to the best of its ability. While hindsight provides perfect vision, I sincerely believe that we made the best decisions with the information we had available at the time. We cared for each other and upheld our institutional principles. As we move towards the hopeful end of this pandemic, I encourage you to continue to care for your peers.

Ryan Bowyer
Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives