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Number of fully vaccinated contracted employees working with UVA remains unknown

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 7:12 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia says about 97% of its student population and 92% of its academic staff is fully vaccinated. However, the number of fully vaccinated contract employees working on grounds is unknown.

Contracted employees work at the university, but not for the university. Many of them are part of dining, custodial, or childcare services.

In an email statement to NBC29, Brian Coy, a spokesperson with UVA, said the school is “encouraging every member of our community, including students, faculty, staff and contractors, to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Coy suggested reaching out to individual contract companies directly in order to find out more about their vaccination policies.

NBC29 reached out to several current and former contractors with the university, and heard back from Aramark, the company contracted with UVA Dine.

Heather Dotchel, a representative with the company, said, “Safety is our top priority and UVA Dine is aligned with the university in encouraging every member of our staff to get vaccinated as soon as possible and wear masks while on campus.”

Dotchel did not confirm or deny that employees would be required to be vaccinated, nor shared any vaccine percentages.

The University of Virginia cannot impose vaccine or reporting requirements on those contracting businesses, but that’s about to change.

Starting September 1, Governor Northam is ordering that all state contractors who enter the workplace or have a public facing job be required to share their vaccine status, per Executive Directive #18.

“We are in regular contact with our contractors about university health and safety policy. For optimum safety of all our community, the university’s requirement that anyone who enters a UVA-owned or leased property wear a mask - regardless of their vaccination status - remains in place to keep members of our community healthy and safe,” Coy said.

Another big question is will those attending events at John Paul Jones Arena need to show proof of a vaccine or a negative test?

Robert Wheeler, the arena’s general manager, said in a statement to NBC29: “John Paul Jones Arena is following the University of Virginia policy which requires all individuals to wear a face covering indoors. The University policy currently does not require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for visitors.”

Bright Horizons, which operates a childcare center at the university, said it is requiring staff be fully vaccinated or submit weekly COVID-19 testing. They are not contracted with the university.

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