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Changes to University Health Policies

To the University Community: 

We write today to update you on additional changes we have made to the University’s health and safety policies, in order to reflect Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order lifting many of the restrictions he put in place in the early phases of the pandemic. The Governor’s order will take effect Friday, May 28, at midnight. All of these changes are another sign of the progress we are making as a community and a Commonwealth to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and get back to more normal ways of life. As we have said before, we urge all members of this community to treat each other with respect as we enter this new phase together. 

Effective at midnight, May 28, University policy will change in the following ways: 

Physical Distancing: Students, faculty, and staff will no longer be required to maintain six feet of physical distance. University facilities, including classrooms and dining facilities, will be modified to reflect this change over the coming weeks. 

Gathering limit: University policy will no longer limit the size of gatherings. In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure, our public health experts continue to advise members of this community to conduct events virtually when possible and to keep in-person gatherings outdoors as much as possible. Even as we lift the gathering limits, it is important to remember that some University units continue to work with operational constraints and will ramp up in the coming weeks and months, meaning that some events or gatherings may not be approved until the capacity to support them is restored. 

Visitors to the University: University policy will no longer restrict visitors from outside the University. Consistent with University policy, all visitors should follow University face covering requirements if they are unvaccinated. 

Remaining mask requirements: Consistent with CDC guidance and Gov. Northam’s Executive Order, those who are not vaccinated must continue to wear masks when around other people. Those who are vaccinated do not have to wear masks, except under the following circumstances, which apply to students, faculty, staff, contractors, and visitors:
  • When in specified areas of the UVA Health Medical Center, clinics, and academic/administrative areas, as indicated in UVA Health guidance (for faculty, staff and contractors and for visitors)
  • When in the Student Health and Wellness Center
  • When in saliva testing facilities
  • When engaged in any activities involving K-12 students
  • When using public transportation (University Transit System)
Hoos Health Check: Academic Division faculty, staff, and students (with the exception of those in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, or Health Sciences Library) will no longer be required to use Hoos Health Check before they come to Grounds, and email notifications will be turned off. We continue to encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to consider whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to Grounds and to stay home if they are feeling ill. Any Academic Division employees who are entering the Medical Center space to work or provide services will still need to complete the Hoos Health Check in advance, in compliance with federal regulations.

Summer Camp Update: Beginning May 28, camps and youth programs seeking to host summer youth programming on Grounds or under the authority of the University off-Grounds may request approval to operate. Camps and youth programs seeking to operate must be approved by the Office of Youth Protection. Only camps and youth programs serving children ages 5+ operating during the day (no overnight camps) will be approved. For questions, please contact youthprotection@virginia.edu.
Moving forward together
As these changes make clear, widespread vaccinations have made it easier for all of us to live, learn, work, and gather together in ways that would have been unsafe just a few months ago. 

What has not changed, however, is the responsibility that each of us has to use good judgment and to look out for the people around us who may be more vulnerable to the virus. The most effective way to do that is to get vaccinated as soon as possible. If you haven’t already done so, please schedule your vaccine here.

Additionally, we ask you to continue to make good decisions, particularly when you are in large groups or around people who are not yet fully vaccinated. While the letter of UVA policy or CDC guidance may not require masks or physical distancing for fully vaccinated people, you may find yourself in situations where it is prudent to observe those practices out of an abundance of caution. If you are not yet fully vaccinated, you should continue to wear your mask and maintain six feet of physical distance from others in order to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 or spreading it to others. If you are vaccinated and feel more comfortable continuing to wear your mask, we encourage you to do so with our full support.  

These policy changes follow the announcement we made last week about how UVA will approach the coming academic year, including a requirement that all students must be fully vaccinated before they come to Grounds, and all employees who are not yet fully vaccinated will be subject to prevalence testing. 

We will continue to provide you updates over the summer as we finalize additional details for the coming academic year. As always, we are grateful for your patience and perseverance, and we hope you have a great summer. 

Jim Ryan
President

Liz Magill
Executive Vice President and Provost

J.J. Davis
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

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

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