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Change in UVA’s mask policy

To the University Community:

Earlier today, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new guidance, which states that people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks. The Governor’s order takes effect at midnight tonight.

Based on the advice of University medical experts, we are pleased to inform you that the University will follow the advice of the CDC and the Governor and update our policy so that UVA community members who are fully vaccinated can now safely forego masks both indoors and outdoors.

This change in mask guidance does not apply to the UVA Health medical center, clinics, and other health-care settings where personnel should continue to follow existing University guidelines, requiring everyone to wear masks at all times in UVA Health locations.

People who are not yet fully vaccinated are still required to wear masks when they are around others, indoors or outdoors. All other University policies on physical distancing, gatherings, and prevalence testing remain in effect. We have updated University policy accordingly.

These changes are effective at 9 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, May 15th, and will apply to the Final Exercises ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021, the first of which are this Sunday. Those who are planning to attend, and who have been fully vaccinated, do not need to wear masks. Physical distancing requirements and capacity limits on the Lawn and at Scott Stadium will remain in effect in accordance with the Governor’s guidance. University staff and RMC Ambassadors have been notified of these changes to our mask policy, as well as the continuing need to monitor and remind individuals to observe the physical distancing requirements.

These changes are a powerful example of the benefits of getting vaccinated, both for individuals and our community as a whole. If you have not yet made an appointment to get vaccinated, please do so as soon as possible.

It is important to remember that many people will continue to wear masks in various settings for the foreseeable future. Some have yet to get vaccinated, and others may simply feel more comfortable wearing a mask even after they’ve been fully vaccinated. Please continue to treat each other with respect and kindness as we take this next step forward together.

As vaccination rates continue to rise in Virginia and across the country, it is likely that federal and state authorities will continue to loosen public health measures. As they do, we will evaluate those changes and adapt them to the needs of our University community. We will also update you soon on additional details for the coming 2021-22 academic year, including our policy on vaccines for students, faculty, and staff.

Thank you, as always, for all the ways you’ve made this academic year as safe and rewarding as it has been for our entire community. 

Jim Ryan

Liz Magill

JJ Davis
Chief Operating Officer

Dr. K. Craig Kent
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs


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