COVID-19 update: Vaccination clinics are opening up to students in Lexington

Vaccinations increase as cases on campus decrease

Mary Alice Russell

In Lexington, vaccinations are becoming more and more accessible to Washington and Lee students as more clinics open up. 

For the week of April 11, students who have not gotten the vaccine yet have the opportunity to attend a clinic in town Monday through Friday. Two of the clinics will be held at the former Gordmans site in Lexington. The university is providing transportation to the Lexington clinics for students. 

Washington and Lee and Virginia Military Institute community members were prioritized for these clinics, as the first 24 hours of the clinic were open just to them. 

Students from other colleges in surrounding areas can sign up to get their vaccinations after the initial 24 hours. 

According to the COVID-19 update email sent on Friday, April 9, “more clinic opportunities will be sent to preregistered individuals unable to attend this clinic. You will not be removed from the preregistration system.” 

As of April 5, 30% of the Washington and Lee community, including faculty, staff, undergraduate and law students, was partially vaccinated. Another 17% have been fully vaccinated.  

Many students who have already received the vaccine became eligible because of volunteer work. Others got the vaccine through CVS or Walgreens. 

Even though a total of 47% of the Washington and Lee community has already had at least one dose, for many, the clinics offered during the week of April 11 are the first opportunity to get the vaccine. 

“We strongly encourage anyone who has not yet received a vaccine to schedule an appointment for one of these clinics,” the COVID-19 Committee wrote in an email April 9.  

Washington and Lee community members should record their vaccinations in their Daily Attestation after each dose so that the university can provide an accurate account of the amount of people who are vaccinated. 

Another positive development is that the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has updated guidance about touch points. Communal touch points are not likely to cause spread of COVID-19. This means that there might be more opportunities for students to come together in a safe way. Masking and social distancing are still a necessity. 

As of Saturday, April 10, only two members of the Washington and Lee community have COVID-19. The two reported cases are law school students. This is the first time that law school cases have surpassed undergraduate cases. 

All 71 beds set up for isolation and quarantine are empty. 

The university entered the yellow-middle zone on March 29. This environment level allows 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. 

The Washington and Lee community is hopeful that levels will stay low during spring term, especially as students return from spring break, which begins April 17. 

“Our undergraduate students are eager for spring break and a respite from classes before Spring Term begins. You deserve this time to relax and refresh,” President Dudley wrote in an email sent on April 1. “Wherever the break takes you, please remember that our ability to complete Spring Term in person and host commencement on campus for our seniors depends on you. Enjoy yourselves, but exercise good judgment and continue to practice COVID-19 common sense.” 

Commencement for undergraduate students has been scheduled for May 27. Seniors can only bring two people to attend the celebration, but if there is a spike in COVID-19 cases the ceremony might not be able to take place at all. 

To help make sure a spike doesn’t happen, the COVID-19 Committee has encouraged students to get tested 1-3 days before leaving campus and 3-5 days after they return to campus.