Since our last update, University leaders and teams all over Grounds have been hard at work preparing for the resumption of course instruction and the ongoing return of students, faculty, and staff. We’ve also been doing our best to communicate with members of this community and the surrounding area about our plan to bring students back safely and successfully this fall.
Last Friday, President Ryan and other leaders conducted a town hall with students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Our goal was to convey the reasons for our major decisions and to answer questions about them because we know they have enormous consequences for those who live, learn, and work at UVA, as well as for our Charlottesville neighbors. On Monday, President Ryan hosted a similar town hall with members of the Charlottesville/Albemarle community so that they could also hear from University leaders about the steps we are taking to protect public health and to be good neighbors. Tomorrow, President Ryan and the leadership team will hold one more town hall for parents and families of students to answer questions as their children prepare to return to Grounds. Finally, if you haven’t already, take a moment to watch the video President Ryan released over the weekend outlining the decisions we’ve made so far and our hopes for the fall semester.
In the past few weeks, we’ve said a lot about responsibility, accountability, rules, norms, expectations, and new behaviors – and those messages are important. There is one word at the foundation of our approach to this semester that we have not used enough. That word is ownership.
We will succeed as we return to Grounds if members of our community take ownership of our return to Grounds – meaning that every one of us takes the actions necessary to keep ourselves and the people around us safe and healthy.
As you will read in this week’s update, taking ownership means following the University’s instructions for students regarding testing before returning to Grounds. It means downloading the Hoos Health Check app, using it daily, and staying home and seeking medical attention if needed when you are feeling ill. It means following University policies around the wearing of masks, physical distancing, and social events. It means providing respectful reminders if fellow members of our community are not following the rules that we know will help prevent the spread of the virus.
If we take ownership of this moment, we can make the most of our experiences together this fall, do our part to slow the spread of the virus, and keep our community safe.
As President Ryan said in his video message earlier this week, the University is closely monitoring a number of specific metrics regarding the progression of the virus and our capacity to handle it. In the event those metrics necessitate a change in our current plan, we will communicate as much no later than August 28. Until then, know that we are doing everything we can to make this semester a success for every member of our community.
PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES
Have You Downloaded HOOS Health Check Yet?
Visit the Apple or Google Play store to download HOOS Health Check and use it every day that you will be on Grounds. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can complete your daily health check on the HOOS Health Check website or through a paper form for employees (a printable PDF is available on the ITS website). HOOS Health Check will help you stay focused on your health and direct you to resources if you need them. More details are available in FAQ sections of the Return to Grounds and Students on Grounds websites. Visit the ITS website to troubleshoot technical issues.
Reminder for Students About COVID Test Kits
Last week, the University launched an online portal for students to order self-administered COVID-19 test kits. Students are urged to order their free kit as soon as possible and to take and submit the tests in accordance with the instructions provided when they are about seven days away from returning to Grounds. The testing program is one part of UVA’s COVID-19 Prevention, Detection, and Response Plan.
Details on Asymptomatic Testing for UVA Employees and Contractors
UVA plans to make COVID-19 tests available on a limited basis to asymptomatic full-time faculty and staff, along with employees of the nine major contractors who have workers on Grounds on a daily and long-term basis. More information will be shared in the UVA Today Daily Report early next week and eligible contracted workers will be notified by their employers. Symptomatic employees should stay home and call Employee Health at 434-924-2013 to be assessed. Please do not contact Employee Health about asymptomatic tests.
UVA Community Ownership and Accountability
Each member of the University community has a shared responsibility to maintain a healthy and safe environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consistent with that responsibility, all students, faculty, and staff who will be on Grounds during the 2020-2021 academic year must comply with public health measures and University policies. The University has established a compliance framework that is grounded in active bystander engagement and community ownership. UVA HR and FEAP provide relevant online learning opportunities for employees, and students have created a video on rules and norms that all students who plan to be in Charlottesville/Albemarle this fall are required to watch. Students are planning to provide more videos throughout the fall term. For more information, please visit the University’s Emergency Management website and the Return to Grounds FAQ page.
Parking and Transportation Adjustments
UTS started new routes on Monday, August 3. They are tracking passenger counts and may alter service due to the delayed return of most undergraduate students. The operation of the Redline Special is not impacted. Visit the Parking & Transportation Operating Status webpage for real-time information about the status of UTS routes. Parking permits for Central, West, and North Grounds lots have been extended until September 1. For information, visit the New in Parking Operations for 2020-21.
Select Dining Services Set to Begin
A limited number of retail dining locations are scheduled to open in mid-August with precautions in place. Please see the UVA Dining website for details.
UVA Bookstores & Cavalier Computers Serve Both Local and Remote Students & Employees
Want to avoid waiting in line for books? The UVA Bookstore offers online textbook reservations and a Buy Now, Pay Later program. You may pick-up your order in-store (select UVABKST as the shipping method) or have it shipped to you via UPS for a flat fee of $15 for any order of $150 or more. Proceeds from all UVA Bookstore sales are donated back to the University to support student scholarships and initiatives. Located within the UVA Bookstore, Cavalier Computers offers CAV Program computers designed to meet UVA-specific hardware and software standards, as well as a wide selection of electronics with purchase and shipping options suitable for students who return to Grounds and those who study remotely.
RETURNING TO WORK ON GROUNDS
Resources on Teleworking and Child Care Benefits
Earlier this summer, managers developed staffing plans to ensure that we are meeting the business needs of the University while also considering accommodations for employees who need them, including flexible schedules and remote work when possible, and issues related to elder care and child care. Employees who have questions should review University Policy HRM-013: Telecommuting from Alternative Work Locations and talk with their manager. Information about benefits to assist with caregiving is available on the HR website.
Trainings, Guidance and New Policies for a Safe Return to Work on Grounds
It is important for all of us to know how to prevent the spread of coronavirus and what to do if someone around you tests positive for COVID-19. All faculty and staff should complete the required Return to Grounds training in Workday and managers should complete the second training module with additional information. University Policy SEC-045 outlines requirements related to face coverings and physical distancing, along with restrictions related to social gatherings. UVA HR has also developed guidance for managers and employees on how to promote mask wearing and proper behavior on and around Grounds.
Employee Health has created a helpful resourceabout what to do if someone around you tests positive for COVID-19. Additionally, the commonwealth has instituted new regulations for notifying employees if someone in their workplace tests positive for COVID-19. UVA HR will provide managers with resources to help them fulfill their responsibilities should someone on their team test positive. Most importantly, if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and contact Employee Health at 434-924-2013 for further guidance. If the health department contacts you, return the call. Visit the VDH website to learn more about the contact tracing process.
New Dates Announced for On-Grounds Move-In
Students living on Grounds will move into residence halls from Thursday, Sept. 3, through Sunday, Sept. 6. Residents have been assigned a two-hour window for move-in by Housing & Residence Life. Students have some flexibility, though, and if needed, may change their appointment due to travel or conflicts with classes, which begin online Aug. 25 for all undergraduates.
Most upperclass students have been assigned appointment times within the same time block as first-year students, but they have greater flexibility in switching to a different time. Upperclass students can move in as early as Monday, Aug. 31.
Residents will be allowed to have two helpers accompany them during their two-hour move-in window. Everyone is required to wear face coverings and maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from other residents and helpers. More information is available on the Housing & Residence Life move-in website.
Student-Produced Video Covers Rules and Norms
Understanding expectations is an important aspect of the preparations students need to make if they plan to be back at UVA this fall. To convey those expectations, students from the Meriwether Lewis Institute for Citizen Leadership took the lead in producing COVID-19 Safety: A PSA for Students, by Students. From writing the script to filming the footage with state-of-the-art equipment borrowed from University Communications, the student-producers met an early August deadline in a record two-and-a-half weeks. The engaging piece is now required viewing for all students who plan to live or learn on Grounds or in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area this fall.
COVID-19 Resources for Students
Student Health and Wellness has compiled important resources especially for students on its website, including Ten Things to Do: Be COVID-19 Ready, and What to Do If Someone Around Me Tests Positive for COVID-19. All students should review these helpful resources and bookmark the page to check back for updates.
Reminder: Aug. 24 Deadline to Cancel Housing Contract
Students who signed a housing contract to live on Grounds this fall still have until Aug. 24 to cancel their contract without a penalty. As a reminder, first-year students are required to live on Grounds, but this year only, they may elect to live in their home communities with their parents, guardians, or others. To cancel a housing contract, students should write email@example.com. Students who need to cancel a dining contract should write firstname.lastname@example.org.
This summer, University of Virginia student leaders have been working hard to create a safe and welcoming environment as the University prepares to begin the fall semester amid a global pandemic. MORE >