Questions About Optional Masking

Are vaccines and boosters still required for faculty, staff and students?

Yes.  All faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted unless they have requested and received an exemption.

Are vaccines and boosters still required for guests?


Could masks be made mandatory again in the future?

Yes. As we have seen throughout the pandemic, circumstances can change quickly. The COVID Task Force will continue to meet and may change the College’s mitigation procedures at any time, depending on those circumstances.

Will masks and social distancing be required for events that draw a large number of outside guests (e.g. commencement)?

Maybe. Certain events have already been planned with presenters and guests expecting that individuals at the event will be masked. Those events will continue with masks required and it will be clearly noted on the campus calendar and flyers.

What happens if I test positive for COVID or have been exposed?

Members of our community who test positive for COVID or who have been exposed will continue to isolate and quarantine following our current guidelines. Use LiveSafe to report your symptoms or contact covid@sbc.edu.

I’m an athlete. Will I need to test before competing?

The NCAA is still requiring testing for players who are not fully vaccinated. We will follow all requirements set out by the NCAA.

Can I ask someone to wear a mask in my space?


Many members of our community may feel more comfortable if visitors to their spaces wear a mask. You can download one of the signs linked below to indicate that you would prefer that.

Covid-19 FAQs

What is Sweet Briar doing to lessen the spread of the virus on campus?

We are requiring vaccination and boosters for every member of our community, with exceptions for medical and religious exemptions.

How many cases does Sweet Briar have on campus?

We update the numbers on our COVID-19 Status page.

Is Sweet Briar offering in-person instruction right now?


Are there on-campus health services?

Yes. The on-site health clinic opened in October 2020.

How are we helping students manage their stress?

Students can reach out to Horizon Behavioral Health or Dean Garrett and they’ll do everything they can to help.

What is the process after a students tests positive for Covid-19?

The College is following CDC guidelines for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.  Individuals who test positive need to isolate for 5 days. Isolation can be arranged on campus, or students may return home for the isolation period.  Students who have no symptoms or whose symptoms are clearly resolving with no fever can leave isolation after the 5-day period. Individuals should expand mask usage as much as possible for 5 days after leaving isolation.

Does the school still require close contacts to get tested?

Yes.  However, per CDC guidelines, the process is different depending on the individuals’ vaccination status.  

If you are up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccinations (initial vaccinations plus booster when eligible), you will not need to quarantine following exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual but will need to be tested 5 days after exposure.  You must be extra diligent in wearing your mask around others for 10 days following exposure.   

If you are not vaccinated or not up-to-date with their vaccinations (eligible to receive a booster but haven’t yet) will need to quarantine for 5 days.  You must be extra diligent in wearing your mask around others for an additional 5 days following exposure. 

How does the school calculate isolation/quarantine days?

The College is following CDC guidelines for individuals that test positive for COVID-19.  This online calculator is currently being used. 

Can being in isolation or quarantine be held against an attendance grade?

Faculty are committed to working with students to make up work and keep them up-to-date in class.  Students who feel their grade is being impacted by time spent in isolation or quarantine should communicate this to Dean Garrett immediately.

If at any point any student feels they are being penalized for missing class due to a documented medical reason, they should communicate this to Dean Garrett immediately.

Are visitors allowed on campus right now?


Can prospective students visit campus in-person?

Yes! We’re offering in-person tours of campus. We have all kinds of information about visiting campus available on our admissions website.

Questions About COVID Vaccines

Will Sweet Briar require students to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

Yes. Students must provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19 prior to Aug. 1, 2021. They can verify their status by sending a scan or photo of their vaccine card to covid@sbc.edu. Jodi Canfield, Dean Garrett and Dean Greenstein will have access to the information.

Religious and medical exemptions will be permitted.

Will Sweet Briar require employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

Yes. Employees must provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19 prior to Aug. 1, 2021. Religious and medical exemptions will be permitted.

Will there be exemptions to this requirement?

Yes. We will accommodate medical and religious exemptions for both students and employees.

Employees who need to request an exemption should contact Human Resources (434-381-6478).

Students who need to request an exemption should contact Dean Greenstein (kgreenstein@sbc.edu).

Is there a charge to get vaccinated?

No. You can receive a COVID-19 vaccine for free.

Do I need to miss work to get my vaccine?

We highly encourage all employees to get vaccinated. As such, you may use up to two hours to get a vaccination shot. Those hours will not impact sick or vacation time accruals.

Should I assume that anyone wearing a mask is unvaccinated?

Absolutely not. There are many reasons someone might continue to wear a mask despite the availability of vaccines. People who may have symptoms of a cold, for example, might choose to wear a mask to protect others. Some people may simply feel more comfortable wearing a mask.

Should I go to class if I have a cold or some other illness?

Probably. You should talk to your faculty member and use your best judgement. If there’s no reason to think you have been exposed to COVID-19, you might choose to go to class wearing a mask to protect your classmates from catching your cold.

If I am unvaccinated and am exposed to COVID-19, will I need to quarantine?

Yes. Unvaccinated individuals who have been exposed to the virus will need to quarantine. Students who believe they have been exposed should go to the health clinic for a COVID-19 test and reach out to Jodi Canfield who can facilitate the quarantine process.