Many private colleges in NC mandate vaccines. Public schools don’t, but do recommend it

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Some private universities in North Carolina are joining the hundreds of schools nationwide requiring students to get a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus in August.

But North Carolina’s 16 public universities are not, citing a “lack of clear legal authority.”

Some public universities across the country have a coronavirus vaccine mandate. Indiana University just got the green light to require student vaccinations with a recent federal court ruling.

The universities requiring vaccines will make exemptions for medical and religious reasons.

Here’s where COVID-19 vaccines are required for college students around North Carolina:

Duke UniversityAll Duke students must be vaccinated in order to attend classes and other campus activities this fall. All faculty and staff are expected to present proof of vaccination by Sept. 1.

As of June 29, more than 81% of Duke’s faculty and staff and nearly 10,000 students were fully vaccinated.

All students will be tested when they arrive at Duke and will participate in weekly surveillance testing. Students who have an exemption from being vaccinated will have to get tested twice a week, wear masks and follow other COVID-19 protocols. Faculty and staff with a vaccination exemption will also participate in weekly COVID-19 testing.

Shaw University — At Shaw University, the historically Black university in Raleigh, all new and returning students who intend to be on campus need to provide proof of vaccination to Student Health before they can enroll for the Fall 2021 semester.

Campbell UniversityCampbell University will require all students to show proof of full vaccination or have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of returning to campus. Students who have not been fully vaccinated or have not submitted that negative COVID-19 test can get a rapid result COVID test on campus when they arrive. Unvaccinated students are required to wear a mask when inside campus facilities.

Elon University — All Elon University students must provide documentation of being fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. The rule applies to all undergraduate, graduate and law students enrolled in classes, living on campus, participating in study abroad/away or participating in on-campus activities on any Elon campus during Fall Semester 2021.

Wake Forest University — Wake Forest University requires all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the fall semester. Starting Aug. 1, students who have not yet provided the required documentation will be removed from enrolled courses and assigned housing.

Davidson College — While Davidson College is not requiring COVID-19 vaccines, students and employees who are not vaccinated must follow stricter rules. The university is asking all vaccinated students and employees to submit proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated students and employees must wear a mask indoors, participate in and pay for weekly COVID-19 testing and will have limited access to some campus facilities.

UNC System universities, including UNC-CH and N.C. State, will not require vaccines. But they are strongly recommending students get vaccinated before the fall semester and will have free vaccine clinics set up at several campuses.

At a recent faculty meeting, UNC-CH Provost Bob Blouin said the university is operating under the presumption that state law prohibits a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Blouin said the university also can’t require students to reveal whether or not they’ve been vaccinated.

While UNC-CH students don’t have to get vaccinated, they won’t have to participate in regular COVID-19 testing if they report their vaccination to the university.

As of last week, about 20,000 UNC-CH students had reported through CarolinaConnect that they are vaccinated.

Meredith College in Raleigh has not announced a vaccine mandate for students, but has said it has the “right to require vaccinations, following full FDA approvals, if campus or local conditions warrant stronger action.” The school is asking students and employees to report their vaccination status. Those who are not vaccinated will need to follow COVID-19 protocols, including routine testing, wearing face masks and quarantining.

Saint Augustine’s University, an HBCU in Raleigh, has not announced a vaccine mandate but is encouraging students and employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

This story will be updated as more North Carolina schools announce vaccine requirements.