Hampden-Sydney College is striving for the 2021-22 academic year to be as normal as possible. We will continue to seek and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the Virginia Department of Health, and other regulatory agencies.

COVID-19 Guidelines, Academic Year 2021-22:

  • COVID-19 vaccination is encouraged but not required. The combination of vaccine and booster shots continues to be the best measure for preventing infection and reducing the impact and severity of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Students who have not provided proof of vaccination may be asked to undergo mandatory weekly testing.
  • The Student Health Center will require mask-wearing for all visitors.
  • Individuals who contract or are exposed to COVID-19 will be expected to isolate or quarantine at home.
  • The College does not plan to offer remote learning options.
  • NCAA guidelines remain the same as last year for unvaccinated student-athletes.
  • The TigeRec Fitness Center is following NCAA guidance regarding masking for those exercising inside the facility and Kirby Gymnasium: Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals, and strongly recommended for those who are vaccinated.
  • The College is open to visitors.

Please document your vaccination and booster status here:

STUDENTS - Vaccination Record      EMPLOYEES - Vaccination Record

For more information, see below.

Spring 2022 Reopening Information


The highly transmissible Omicron variant is a new chapter in the COVID-19 saga. Even though it appears that the threat of serious illness, hospitalization, and death posed by Omicron is lower than the original or Delta variants—especially among the vaccinated—we can all understand how widespread infection could jeopardize our ability to offer an on-campus, in-person educational experience. Coming at a time when all of us want to put COVID behind us, Omicron is spreading rapidly and we share a collective responsibility to remain vigilant to protect the health and wellbeing of all members of our campus community.


According to the CDC, individuals with an Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms. Colleges that have already had students return to campus are seeing high positivity rates, and we know of at least a couple of colleges in Virginia that have decided to hold virtual-only classes for the first couple of weeks. To give our community the best opportunity to continue offering in-person instruction, we need to do everything we can to minimize the presence of the Omicron variant on our campus. Accordingly, the College is requiring all students to submit a negative COVID-19 test before returning to campus. Tests must be administered within 24 hours of your return on Sunday, January 16 and results uploaded to this portal. Students with a positive test result should email the Hampden-Sydney Care Team at careteam@hsc.edu. A College staff member will respond offering support and next steps.

The College will accept a lab test, a rapid test from a provider such as a pharmacy, or an at-home test. A photo of the test results can be uploaded to the portal. If you are using an at-home test, please print your name and date on the test, take a photo of the negative result, and upload it through the portal.

The only exception for a negative pre-return test is for students who have tested positive in the past 90 days. Students in this situation should contact the Student Health Center at (434) 223- 6167.

(For students pre-approved for an early return, test results must be uploaded to the portal 24 hours before the approved return time. The College will not accept any additional early arrival requests. Unless approved to return early, no student may move back to campus until Sunday, January 16th. Contact Patty Townsend in the Office of Student Affairs at ptownsend@hsc.edu with any questions about an early return.)

Students who cannot obtain a test will be tested immediately upon their return to campus—prior to returning to their living unit or any other campus facility. If you cannot obtain a test, contact Kim Ball in the Student Health Center at (434) 223-6167 to schedule an on-campus test.

Students and faculty and staff members should not come to campus if you have a positive test result, are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, or if you have been a close contact to anyone who has recently received a positive COVID test result.

Wastewater Testing

Wastewater testing will continue to be an essential element of the College’s COVID mitigation strategy. Wastewater testing will resume immediately after students return and provide a reliable indicator of the presence of the virus, which will also help to inform future testing.

Testing of Unvaccinated Students and Employees

The previous testing protocol—weekly testing for non-vaccinated individuals—will continue for the duration of the semester or until the pandemic has abated.


The College will continue to follow CDC guidance on quarantine and isolation periods, as communicated last week by Richard Pantele, Dean of Students. For positive cases, this means isolating for five days, followed by masking for another five days (assuming that no symptoms remain). Any student who has been released from quarantine or isolation must mask when around other people (including roommates) for five days after his release. General masking policies apply after that period.

Temporary Restriction on Visitors and Group Gatherings

As an additional precaution and to give ourselves the best opportunity to continue to offer in-person instruction, students may not host visitors or hold group gatherings where masking and social distancing cannot be ensured for the first two weeks of the semester. We will reevaluate these restrictions before the end of January.

Heightened Mask Protocols

Until further notice, masks are required inside all campus buildings, TigeRec, and indoor athletic events (this includes basketball games). Masks should be, at a minimum, multi-layered (preferably surgical-grade or better), and must be worn correctly to cover the nose and mouth completely. The College will have a supply of masks for students who may need them. Individuals are exempt from wearing masks when actively eating or drinking in the Commons or Tiger Inn, or when in private spaces, such as a dorm room or personal office. (Note that individuals released from quarantine or isolation have additional masking requirements for five days after release.)

Mask Accountability

The entire campus community should feel empowered to enforce masking where appropriate. We especially need students to hold their brothers accountable for the health and safety of every member of our campus community. Students who do not comply with masking protocol will be held accountable through the Code of Student Conduct for failure to comply with College policy.

Flexibility/Hybrid Classes

Faculty members are encouraged to be flexible and prepare for hybrid classes, especially at the beginning of the semester, given the possibility that many students could be in quarantine or isolation.

Employee Sick Leave/COVID Leave

Current leave and quarantine policies are provided under the “For Employees” section on the College’s COVID-19 web page.

Vaccination Clinic

The College is working with the Virginia Department of Health to schedule an on-campus vaccination clinic and details will be shared as soon as they are available. Vaccinations and booster shots are also readily available in most pharmacies. According to the CDC, vaccines may not keep you from getting the Omicron variant but they are proving “highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.” For this reason, we urge all eligible community members to consult with their medical provider about the benefits of the vaccine and booster shots.

Spring 2022 Reopening Information (pdf)

Fall 2021 Opening Information

updated 8/20/2021

The College will hold full in-person residential instruction with the traditional fourteen-week semester beginning as scheduled on August 23 with the traditional fall break (no classes on October 11 and 12) and Thanksgiving break (beginning after classes on November 23 until November 29). See the academic calendar. The College is not planning to offer remote study during the 2021–22 academic year. The following information is subject to change during the semester or the academic year.


Given high transmission levels in Prince Edward County, all individuals – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – are currently required to wear masks inside campus buildings when others are nearby (within 6 feet). This is in accordance with the CDC’s July 28 recommendation regarding masking in areas with substantial or high levels of community transmission. This is subject to change as conditions evolve, and the College will notify the community of any updates. The TigeRec Fitness Center is currently following NCAA guidance regarding masking for those exercising inside the facility and Kirby Gymnasium: Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals, and strongly recommended for those who are vaccinated. Students, we expect you to be on your honor in following this policy.


Students for whom we do not have a vaccination record must undergo testing upon their return to campus and be tested weekly. This testing won’t be optional and if you do not get tested, you will not be able to attend classes. Such absences will be unexcused.


  • The Dean of Faculty’s Office is adjusting classroom spaces and, in some cases, reassigning classrooms to allow the requisite six-foot spacing between occupants who are not on file as being fully vaccinated. Class enrollments will be limited to enrollment caps to enable social distancing in available classrooms. For the safety of themselves and others, students will be asked to follow instructions from their professor about seating arrangements. This will ensure proper physical distancing between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. 
  • As was the case in 2020-2021, some spaces on campus not ordinarily designated as classroom spaces will be used as teaching spaces to allow safe distances between students.
  • Faculty members will conduct in-person group work and hands-on learning activities in ways that maintain six feet around unvaccinated participants. 
  • Faculty members should be prepared to meet remotely with students who are unable to meet during designated office hours, particularly due to illness.  Faculty members may find that a judicious mix of mostly in person with some Zoom office hours works best.


The vaccines are proving effective at preventing infection and serious illness, including from the more contagious Delta variant. Public health recommendations are that everyone eligible should be vaccinated. If, for any reason, you have not yet been vaccinated, please consult with your family physician about whether you should get vaccinated. Vaccinations are readily available without appointment at Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. If you need assistance in arranging for a vaccination, including help with transportation, contact the Dean of Students’ office.


According to NCAA guidelines, any student-athlete for whom we don’t have a vaccination record must mask during indoor athletic activities and travel, remain socially distanced, avoid locker rooms, and be tested regularly. Due to limited staffing, only students who have provided a vaccination record may participate in intramural or club sports.

Isolation and Quarantine

Students and employees who contract COVID or who are unvaccinated and come into close contact with someone who has COVID, will need to isolate or quarantine at home. (We will work to identify alternatives for students who live further from campus or who would create a health risk for others by traveling home.) As they did last year, faculty members will work with students who are ill or in isolation or quarantine to help keep students on track.

Contact Tracing

As was the case last year, the College will be contact tracing for the campus community. Whether vaccinated or not, people can still contract and spread this virus and must take appropriate steps if they have symptoms or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms. In cases of close contact or questions, students should notify the Health Center; staff should notify the Office of Human Resources; faculty should notify Dean of Faculty’s office.


Visitors to the College will be expected to comply with all College Covid mitigation policies.

Bortz Library

The Bortz Library staff has adjusted library spaces and services to allow for adequate space between patrons, including at service desks and in seating areas. Through its electronic newsletter and signage, library staff will notify patrons of new expectations in the Bortz Library, including: using and leaving all furniture where it has been placed; limiting use of group study rooms to the posted occupancy as determined by library staff based on room size; using outside porch and covered areas as weather permits; using designated book drop/equipment return areas rather than handing materials to staff members or student employees; maximizing use of electronic interlibrary loan services for articles and book chapters; accessing research assistance in person with physical distancing or by phone, email, or chat feature on the library’s website; and observing all required safety precautions, including social distancing, wearing face masks, and limiting shared materials when using library services in person.

Food Service

Food Service will resume pre-COVID operations; however, there will be to-go options and we encourage students to make use of outdoor seating. All students, employees, and guests are required to wear face masks while in the Pannill Commons, Tiger Inn, and at catered functions. Patrons may remove their face masks while eating and drinking in designated dining areas.


Events may be held in person as long as the space can accommodate 6 feet of social distancing for individuals who are not vaccinated. Organizers should request that individuals attending in person events seat themselves in areas where social distancing is possible. All attendees should be reminded of the college policy that everyone be masked at indoor events. Be aware that some additional spaces are being utilized as classrooms and may not be available or, if available, will need to be utilized with desks and classroom setups left in place. (These spaces include: Crawley Forum, Parents and Friends Lounge, the first and fourth floor of the Library, the Cabell Room, the Board and Chair Rooms in Pannill, and Fellowship Hall in the Church.)

Committee Meetings

Faculty committees, department meetings and other faculty groups are encouraged to meet in person as we seek to restore the campus to normal operations. However, faculty have discretion to make decisions as to whether they need to meet remotely. If a member of the group would like to participate but is unable to attend in person for health reasons, the department or committee chair should make attendance possible through remote communication. 


The Dean of Faculty, Dr. Walter C. “Mike” McDermott III, will continue to serve as Hampden-Sydney’s COVID-19 coordinator. The Director of Human Resources, Ms. Sue Carter, will respond to questions regarding sick leave policies and requests for reasonable accommodations.