Campuses Are Virus Incubators, but These Colleges Can’t Require Vaccines


“The university will no longer provide quarantine or isolation housing, meals, or transportation for students who need to isolate or quarantine,” Dr. Plowman wrote in a boldfaced warning. Students, she strongly suggested, are on their own — a push perhaps to get the vaccine, particularly since coronavirus cases have doubled in Knoxville.

Arizona’s public universities are also banned from requiring vaccines. But at Arizona State University, in Tempe, which expects about 75,000 students on campus this fall, vaccinated students will get a chance for prime seats at a football game and “Hamilton” tickets. At Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, officials are dangling a chance for an Apple Watch. And the University of Arizona, in Tucson, plans to hold a drawing for lunch with the president, Robert C. Robbins, an outspoken critic of Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order banning vaccine mandates.

And in apparent defiance of state anti-mask mandate rules, universities systems in Arizona and Arkansas announced on Wednesday that they would require masks indoors.

Florida’s large public university and college systems will soon be greeting thousands of students, as the state’s medical facilities are overwhelmed.

Yet Gov. Ron DeSantis is a steadfast opponent of both vaccine and mask mandates, signing a law in May that prohibits proof of vaccines and, more recently, an executive order banning mask requirements.

Even though that executive order, signed July 30, technically applied to only elementary and high schools, university leaders were told on Friday, during a meeting of the state’s 12 university presidents, that it also applied to them, according to Larry Robinson, president of Florida A&M University, a historically Black school in Tallahassee.

It was the third meeting in one week of the state’s university leaders as they try to develop a systemwide approach, he said.



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