This evening, UVA students, parents, faculty, staff, and alumni will gather virtually to enjoy the Lighting of the Lawn. Originally founded to unite our community in the wake of the September 11 attacks, this beloved tradition is an annual reminder of what makes this community so special.
When we join the virtual Lighting of the Lawn this evening from screens that have become so familiar to us over the past few months, we will see yet another example of one of the most important lessons of this semester: While the pandemic has changed much about what it means to be a member of the UVA community, the most important things remain the same.
Just as the organizers of this year’s Lighting of the Lawn found a way to uphold this tradition under difficult circumstances, members of this community have been finding a way all semester to adapt and accomplish the most important elements of our mission as a University.
From faculty members applying their ingenuity to deliver excellent instruction in hybrid classrooms and facilities management staff changing room layouts and installing plexiglass barriers, to students finding new ways to enrich each other’s experiences both in-person and virtually, we have overcome the challenges of COVID to continue educating future leaders.
In our health system and throughout the University, we have seen physicians, researchers, public health experts, and many others rise to the challenge of treating COVID patients, developing new testing methodologies, and contributing to the human understanding of this virus – all while continuing to execute their core responsibilities.
In every phase of University life, faculty, staff, and contract employees have stepped forward to serve this community, often in essential, frontline positions. In turn, we’ve seen members of this community do the right things, over and over again, to protect themselves and the people around them from the virus.
The in-person semester is not quite over, and we all must remain vigilant as cases spread across the country. However, as we near the end of in-person classes, we hope each of you will take a moment and reflect on what we’ve achieved together so far. In the midst of difficulty and uncertainty, this University community has maintained excellence in our core mission and used our resources, creativity, and ingenuity for the benefit of others. That is the essence of what it means to be great and good.
While we will be providing you with updates over break on important issues like pre-arrival testing, this is the final edition of the Return to Grounds Update for the semester. We are so grateful to each of you for the way you’ve responded to historic challenges in order to make this semester a success. Thank you, enjoy your holidays, and we look forward to seeing you again after the break.
Liz Magill Provost
J.J. Davis Chief Operating Officer
PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES
Pre-Thanksgiving Student Testing
Every student in Charlottesville/Albemarle this semester has received an email message that includes their appointment date and time for mandatory testing through Nov. 20. Students also have the option to take an additional test before traveling. More information is available on the Monitoring and Testing page of the Return to Grounds site. These tests are provided at no cost to students.
Post-Thanksgiving Testing Period
UVA expects and encourages all students to return home for the Thanksgiving break and not return to the Charlottesville community until the spring semester. For students unable to return home over the break or whose home is in Charlottesville/Albemarle, UVA will continue mandatory prevalence testing. Between Nov. 30 and Dec. 18, students must test once per week while here (details about prevalence testing in January will be provided soon). Students who have been approved to remain in University housing will receive a notice to test on Wednesdays. Students living off-Grounds must test once a week, with walk-in hours available on weekdays and Sunday afternoons.
90-Day Window: Guidance for Students Who Tested Positive
As a reminder, students who have had a positive COVID-19 test within the last 90 days do not need to be retested or screened at this time. If positive test results are from any source other than Let’s Get Checked, Student Health and Wellness, or UVA Health, students must submit these results using the HealthyHoos Patient Portal.
Any student who received a positive test more than 90 days ago, however, does need to report for mandatory testing/screening if notified to do so by the University and may need to go into isolation if they receive another positive test result. Students in the area who develop symptoms of COVID-19 should contact Student Health and Wellness at 434-924-5362 and should NOT wait for (or go to) any upcoming prevalence testing.
Resources for Winter Break and Celebrating the Holidays Safely
The Virginia Department of Health offers an infographic with steps students can take to return home without spreading the virus to family members or friends who may be particularly vulnerable. Additionally, Student Health has developed a resource for students who test positive before break. Finally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tips for celebrating Thanksgiving safely.
Hoos Health Check and COVIDWISE
Hoos Health Check: Everyone is required to use Hoos Health Check each day they come to Grounds. Have questions? Visit the FAQs.
COVIDWISE: Use your phone to fight COVID-19 by downloading COVIDWISE, the Virginia Department of Health’s exposure notification app.
RETURNING TO WORK ON GROUNDS
The Academic Division will be closed Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 25-27, and the UVA Health Clinics will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 26-27 for the Thanksgiving holiday. See the UVA HR website 2020 and 2021 holiday calendars. We are very thankful for our dedicated and caring UVA community. Have a wonderful holiday.
Get Your Flu Shot
This is your final reminder! UVA employees and team members still have easy access to getting shots. See the HR flu shot webpage for details, including locations and cost coverage.
On-Grounds Students: Reminders Before Leaving for Break
Before heading out for Thanksgiving or Winter break, students living in residence halls should make sure they have left things in good order. It’s important to unplug all electrical equipment, turn off water faucets, empty the trash, clean out refrigerators, draw the shades or blinds, and turn off the room lights. Bicycles should be taken inside (but mopeds and motorcycles must remain outside). Students should take any important items with them, such as passports and medications. For more reminders, see Housing & Residence Life’s checklist.
Preparing Off-Grounds Residences
Before leaving Charlottesville, students living off Grounds are reminded to secure doors and windows in their residences, close blinds and shades and turn off lights, inform their landlord, and request that their mail be stopped or forwarded. Students can request that University Police make an exterior visual security check of residence while they are away. For details, see Residence Security Request Check.
Two Remaining Days for Walk-In Flu Shot Clinic
Students have two more days to receive a flu shot at the Student Health and Wellness satellite flu clinic at the Student Activities Building on a walk-in basis: Friday, Nov. 20, and Monday, Nov. 23, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Students can also receive a flu shot at Student Health and Wellness during normal business hours, but must make an appointment online or by calling 424-924-5362. For payment information and additional details, visit the Student Health and Wellness Flu Clinic webpage.