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Return to Grounds Update
We are finally entering the home stretch for Fall 2020 in-person instruction here at UVA. While we aren’t quite to the finish line, we should all be proud the way we have come together under challenging circumstances to advance the mission of this university while limiting the spread of the virus.

As we prepare for winter break, staying vigilant is more important than ever, particularly as cases rise across the country. The University and the Charlottesville community are experiencing a slight uptick in positive cases that we must manage in order to finish the semester successfully. We are monitoring this very carefully in real time, and we hope we do not have to consider additional restrictions. With so many students preparing to leave within the next few days, it is important to know that we are within the window where contracting the virus here could present risks for family and friends back home.

As we near the end of a challenging semester, students prepare to spend a long break apart from friends, and we all are experiencing COVID fatigue, our public health experts are emphasizing that it is critical that students keep adhering to our health and safety policies. Please, do not let your guard down this weekend or in the coming days: continue to wear your mask, stay six feet apart, limit the size of gatherings, regularly wash your hands, and comply with the University’s pre-departure testing program. That way, students can return home with confidence that you are not bringing the virus with you.

Unless Charlottesville is your permanent home, we are asking all students, undergraduate and graduate, on and off-Grounds, to return home over break and to stay there until the beginning of the Spring term. Of course, we recognize that a small number of students cannot return to their home communities, and we are ready to accommodate them. For everyone else, please go home when in-person classes end, finish exams there, and do not return to the Charlottesville-Albemarle region until classes begin again next term. Returning home and staying there until the start of Spring term ensures that no one is bringing the virus back to the region or bringing it home to their loved ones by going back and forth.

In these last weeks, we’ve provided a lot of information about how to prepare to leave Grounds safely and get ready for the Spring term. In this week’s update we put all of the dates, deadlines, testing information, and health and safety guidance back into one place so you can review them and make sure you’re taking the right steps to finish this semester strong, enjoy your break at home, and return ready to build on the progress we’ve achieved together this year.

Finally, as we finish this semester and prepare for the Spring, we want to hear from you. Since the beginning of the pandemic, input from UVA community members has been critical every step of the way. We have set up a Return to Grounds Comment Box for suggestions on how to improve academic experiences, student life, communications, working conditions, or other elements of how UVA is operating in the midst of the pandemic. If there are things that are working well, or things that are not, please let us know. If you have good ideas about how students can gather safely in the middle of winter, we are ready to hear them.

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.
Asymptomatic Voluntary Testing for Employees and Contracted Workers
Academic Division faculty and staff, Medical Center and University Physicians Group team members, and contracted workers who are not exhibiting symptoms but would like to be voluntarily tested have the option to do so. Asymptomatic full-time, benefits-eligible faculty and staff (including those working in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing), and non-employee postdoctoral fellows may order a free self-test kit from Let’s Get Checked, and the kit will be shipped directly to them. Part-time salary, wage and contracted workers may request a free test kit by emailing returntogrounds@virginia.edu. UVA Health team members have received detailed information via email about scheduling testing appointments.
Drive-Thru Testing for Employees and Community Members
In addition to testing for asymptomatic employees and contracted workers, UVA is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Virginia Department of Health to provide drive-thru testing on Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22 for community members and those who work at the University. Details will be included in next week’s Return to Grounds Update. These tests will be provided at no cost to employees and community members.
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 the Thanksgiving holiday 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.
 
ACADEMIC LIFE
Grading Policy for J-Term and Spring
On Nov. 9, the University announced the extension of the CR/GC/NC policythrough J-Term and Spring 2021. All undergraduates have this option, as do graduate students whose programs offered the option this fall. Professional schools will announce their decisions for J-Term and Spring terms soon. Read the official announcement for details on this decision, as well as what factors students should consider when choosing between the standard option and the CR/GC/NC option.
Replay: Recent Faculty Town Hall
Faculty: Did you miss the Town Hall on Oct. 29? This discussion provides information for faculty and instructors on how to safely engage students in teaching and learning in the Spring 2021 term. If you missed it, the recording is now available.
 
RETURNING TO WORK ON GROUNDS
Childcare Survey and New Tools for Parents and Guardians
The UVA Dual Career Program (DCP) has developed a short survey we are asking you to complete so we can better understand your current childcare experiences and challenges. The DCP has also launched a Parent/Guardian Connection Tool to connect UVA parents and guardians with one another to facilitate community and the exchange of information and supports.
Employee Flu Shot Update
The UVA flu shot clinic program is altered this year due to the pandemic, but employees and team members still have easy access to getting shots. See the HR flu shot webpage for details, including locations and cost coverage.
 
STUDENT LIFE
Nov. 12: Deadline for Undergraduate On-Grounds Housing
Today (Nov. 12, 11:59 p.m.) is the deadline for current residents to go to the Housing portal and record their on-Grounds housing needs for Thanksgiving recess, Winter Break, and the Spring 2021 semester. See the HRL websitefor details, including steps to take before you leave Grounds.
Students May Still Apply for Spring On-Grounds Housing
While the priority deadline has passed, students who lived off-Grounds last term but wish to live on-Grounds in the Spring can still apply for housing through the HRL website.
Thanksgiving Feasts Return at UVA Dine
UVA Dine is excited to host the Thanksgiving Feasts again this year in a modified fashion. All three dining rooms will be serving holiday favorites on Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. Students can enjoy a UVA-themed Thanksgiving with menu features like herb-brined local turkey, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, herb stuffing (with local sage, rosemary, and thyme), baked mac & local cheese, local roasted autumn vegetables, and an assortment of scratch made pies. Options will be dine-in or to-go at all three dining rooms.
Thanksgiving Day HoosGiving Community Meal
The Food Insecurity Resource Group, in partnership with UVA Dine, is hosting the second annual HoosGiving community meal on Thanksgiving Day. The event is free and open to anyone in the UVA community (students, faculty, and staff), but diners are asked to RSVP by Nov. 20 to ensure an adequate amount of food. Options for both to-go and in-person dining will be available, and all COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place. The event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving Day) from noon-2 p.m. at Newcomb Hall, Fresh Food Company (second floor).
 
NEWS FROM UVA TODAY
UVA Weekly Episode 9: Pre-Thanksgiving Precautions
President Jim Ryan, Dr. Meredith Hayden and Davion Zeno discuss pre-Thanksgiving testing and precautions. Plus, see how the Cavalier Marching Band is staying together. MORE >
UVA to Test All Students Before Thanksgiving
The University also will offer asymptomatic voluntary testing for Academic Division faculty, staff and contracted workers before the break. MORE >

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