In keeping with our mission, Hollins University’s campus community will approach the evolving challenges of the pandemic with a continued focus on mutual accountability, collective responsibility, hope, and optimism. By requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all who will learn and work on campus, Hollins committed to the first and most effective means of reducing the possibility of contracting and/or transmitting this disease. We know that we learn and grow best as individuals when we are together, for and with one another in community, and we continue to take steps to support that experience.
As research continues, and as our understanding shifts over time about the highly contagious Delta variant and other risks, we will remain flexible and responsive to this changing landscape, all while privileging the well-being of our community .
Nurturing the best community we can create, within a Culture of Care for one another, has been and must continue to be our overarching priority.
Key Guidelines/Protocols as of August 18, 2021
All guidelines/protocols to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 will be shared as soon as any change in protocol is made. Reevaluation criteria include regional COVID-19 cases, hospitalization trends, and vaccination rates in the Roanoke Valley region, as well as updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the governor’s office.
University officials consulted with regional VDH officials about the recent CDC guidance encouraging masks indoors for vaccinated individuals. Based upon the significant increase in and high transmission rates of COVID-19 in the Roanoke Valley region, VDH recommended that Hollins require masks indoors (including in cars when w/others) on campus. This step, along with a fully vaccinated campus, is our best defense against the highly contagious Delta variant. Therefore, in accordance with this public health recommendation, masks will be required for all campus community members in all indoor areas, except for individual offices (when alone) and in residential hall rooms (in accordance with guidance in the student handbook). Masks should be worn when students are gathered in common areas of residence halls. In the dining hall, masks will be required while standing in line but may be removed while eating or drinking at a table. This indoor masking mandate begins Wednesday, August 18, 2021, and will continue until further notice.
Limited Residence Hall/Campus Visitation:
Students may have up to two off-campus visitors at a time to their residence halls or outdoors on campus at any given time. These visitors are required to be fully vaccinated in order to visit campus, and overnight guests are not currently permitted. Current Hollins students are responsible for affirmatively verifying the vaccination status of guests. During their time on campus, guests are expected to adhere to our Culture of Care. In addition, a residential student must obtain the expressed permission of their roommate(s) for a visitor to be in their shared residence hall room/apartment space. We are relying on our guiding principles that this community has earned trust in how each of us cares for one another in this community. Failure to follow these requirements will be handled in accordance with published student conduct guidelines.
Determinations regarding an online and/or streaming option for special guests and events will be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with Hollins administration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to let other people into my room?
No. The exception is if an emergency facilities issue needs to be addressed, or if university staff reasonably fears unlawful activity, violation of university policy, or harm to life, safety, health, or property. In these circumstances, public health protocols will be followed.
If I am a residential student, can my Hollins friends come and visit me in my room/apartment?
Yes, friends living on campus are freely able to visit each other as long as their roommate(s) are in agreement.
Are visitors required to wear masks?
Yes. Invited guests – those who have been specifically invited by students, faculty, or staff – must be vaccinated and must be masked just like campus community members (see our notice about “Limited Residence Hall/Campus Visitation” above).
What about prospective visitors and their families?
All visits to campus by prospective students and their family members must be scheduled and approved through the admission office. While guests of the Office of Admission will not be required to provide proof of vaccination, prospective students and families must complete a health screening pre-arrival that includes a symptom screening and e-signing an acknowledgement of the Culture of Care. While on campus, they must wear a mask at all times when indoors, maintain physical distance at all times, and wear a mask in outdoor settings where physical distance cannot be easily maintained (e.g. crowded settings), especially when traversing busy sidewalks or in large crowds. Admission staff members may choose to conduct an in-person interview with visiting families unmasked and maintaining appropriate physical distance on the front porch of Main.
Admission guests will routinely enter into the interior of the following buildings: a) Wyndham Robertson Library b) Visual Arts Center, including Museum c) Moody Student Center d) Dana Science Center, including second floor labs e) Career Center f) Main building [administrative offices; Green Drawing Room] g) Tayloe h) Theatre i) Turner. Other campus buildings may be entered on occasion depending on the needs of the visiting student. Admission guests will not be permitted to attend a class or stay overnight in a residence hall. Access to the interior of residence halls will be granted during university breaks only.
What if I’m uncomfortable in large crowds or at events?
Individuals need to make the best choice for themselves whether to attend large events or gatherings. Measures individuals can undertake to mitigate risk in those settings but still allow for participation include wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance. When appropriate, certain events and activities may incorporate a remote option for those who are not comfortable attending in person.
Are virtual classes and/or meetings encouraged?
Because of the vaccine mandate for campus members and visitors/guests, along with the new indoor mask requirement, VDH recommends maintaining in-person classes and meetings for the campus community. Physical distancing is not required.
How will the dining hall operate this fall?
The dining hall will have normal operations during the fall term, and all campus members are invited to use the dining hall. In the dining hall, masks will be required while standing in line but may be removed while eating or drinking at a table. The servery will be self-serve, including the salad bar and deli station. The HUB grill and Greenberry’s will observe normal hours. While capacity in the dining room has been significantly increased from last academic year, seating will be slightly reduced in the main dining room. In order to provide sufficient seating, we will be providing additional dining seating in the Rat and Ballator during the fall term and encourage employees to use these satellite seating areas.
How will Hollins evaluate changes to this approach?
All guidelines/protocols to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 will be with updates announced to the campus community as soon as any decision about a change in protocol is made. Reevaluation will be based on trends related to the number of positive COVID-19 cases, hospitalization trends, and vaccination rates in the Roanoke Valley region, as well as updated guidance from the CDC, the VDH, and the governor’s office.
How will Hollins approach holidays and breaks this year?
At present, Hollins will observe holidays and breaks as scheduled and as we have in years prior to the pandemic. Eligible students will be permitted to stay on campus during Fall and Thanksgiving breaks. Residence halls will close in full for the winter break, with the expectation at present our January Short Term will be in person with a reopened campus on January 3, 2022.
Fall Break is scheduled for October 14 and 15. Thanksgiving Recess is the week of November 22. Winter Break begins Thursday, December 16. The January Short Term begins Monday, January 3.
The employee holiday schedule for 2021-22 is posted on my.hollins.
Family Weekend, currently scheduled for October 29-31, is being evaluated, and any changes or updates will be announced as soon as possible.
What happens with Hollins sports and games/competitions?
Athletic teams are scheduled to participate in competitions this fall. Teams will follow all CDC, VDH, NCAA, and ODAC guidelines for athletic competition. Information regarding spectator attendance will be announced as soon as possible.
Will Hollins offer study abroad this year?
Yes. Students can participate in study abroad programs that are open and operating. These students must follow all public health protocols required by the host country and program provider.
Will COVID-19 symptomatic testing still be available?
If you are a Hollins student and are experiencing symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19, we ask that you immediately contact Health and Counseling Services by phone at 540-362-6444. They will determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. If you are tested, you will be required to quarantine until the test results return. Should your test results come back positive, you will need to isolate for 10 days from taking the test.
Will the weekly randomized COVID-19 testing be required?
CDC and VDH do not currently recommend surveillance or screening testing of fully vaccinated individuals.
If I’ve been vaccinated, do I still need to go into quarantine if I’ve been exposed to a positive case?
We will be following CDC guidance as it relates to contact tracing and quarantine protocols. Current guidance says fully vaccinated individuals who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested three to five days following the date of their exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. They should isolate themselves if they test positive. Most fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine or be restricted from work following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, if they follow the testing and masking recommendation above.
Should you develop any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, students should immediately contact the Student Health and Counseling Center at 540-362-6444, and faculty/staff should consult their personal physician. Employees are also required to contact Human Resources. As instructed by the healthcare provider these individuals would isolate for 10 days from the date symptoms first appeared. They can leave isolation after the 10 days if they have been 24 hours with no fever and other symptoms are improving. Contact tracing will work similarly to last year.
May I leave campus to go into Roanoke/travel home/visit friends at other colleges?
At present, Hollins is not restricting student or employee travel. We are relying on our guiding principle that this community has earned trust in how each of us cares for one another and for others in community. When out in public spaces, especially indoors, masking will help significantly reduce your risk of contracting and bringing COVID-19 to the Hollins campus. When traveling on common carriers (airplanes, trains, buses), students and employees are required to follow all federal COVID-19 guidance.
Will I have to carry my vaccination card or a photo of it around with me or a photo of it?
Because of our vaccination mandate, proof of your vaccination has already been registered with the institution. However, it is recommended you keep your card – and store a photo of it in your phone – in case other businesses or organizations in the region should require it.