Newsletter: Hospital Capacity, Class Registration, Childcare Needs
This week’s update includes important changes to the undergraduate course registration period, the reopening of some IM-Rec facilities, a reminder for all University staff to complete the mandatory Return to Grounds training modules, and other important updates for students, parents, faculty, and staff as we prepare to make the fall term a success.
Before we turn to those details, we would like to acknowledge that, like many of you, we are also growing more concerned about the progression of the coronavirus and the challenges we will face as a country, a Commonwealth, and an institution if worsening trends continue.
As we wrote last week, University leaders and public health experts are, on a daily basis, tracking key metrics related to COVID-19. The metrics include the trend of infections in the Charlottesville region, the capacity of UVA Health and local hospital facilities, and our own operational capabilities, in coordination with state and local health agencies, to detect and limit the spread of the virus through testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation. We are also constantly aware that any University decision affects the local community.
What we reported last week remains true this week. The University is continuing to implement a plan to resume in-person instruction and to keep students, faculty, staff, and our Charlottesville neighbors safe in the process. As we have said from the beginning, however, these plans are subject to change based on the progression of the virus and our operational readiness to handle the virus. If conditions continue to decline, we will make changes to our approach that permit us to deliver on the mission of the University safely.
We recognize that uncertainty creates anxiety. We wish the situation were more certain, but the progression of the virus is unpredictable. Our goal is to keep you as informed as we can about our current plans, as well as how those plans could change if conditions necessitate. We are grateful to so many members of this community who are working hard to make this upcoming term a success and we are confident that we will persevere and continue to demonstrate what it means to be a great and good University.
Liz Magill Provost
J.J. Davis Chief Operating Officer
PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES
Return to Grounds Health and Safety Plan
All students, faculty, staff, and local community members are encouraged to review the University’s health and safety plans for the upcoming semester, which are available on the Return to Grounds website and student hub. For a printable version of the plan, click here.
UVA Medical Center Capacity
The UVA Medical Center is prepared and has the capacity to respond in the event of a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Charlottesville region. The Medical Center recently opened a new tower, which includes 84 ICU-compatible beds, further expanding the hospital’s capacity to serve the University and the local community. For more information visit UVA Health’s Appointments and Service Changes page.
Class Registration Update
In order to give undergraduate students more time to gather information from their schools and advisors before finalizing their class schedules, the University is delaying their open enrollment/class registration by one week. New enrollment appointments will be visible in the Student Information System by the end of the day today (July 30). As of yesterday, Wednesday, July 29, undergrads are temporarily unable to make changes to fall schedules until their scheduled appointment. For more information, visit the Registrar’s website.
IM-Rec Announces Re-opening Plans
The AFC fitness area and IM-Rec outdoor spaces will open on Aug. 3 for students and IM-Rec Sports members with modified hours and operations. Pre-registration and adherence to new safety procedures will be required. Find details of the re-opening plan here.
Preparing Grounds for Your Return
Facilities Management (FM) staff have been working throughout the summer to prepare for the return of students, faculty, and staff to Grounds. With partners from the offices of the University Architect, the University Building Official, and the Provost, they developed facility/space safety standards in accordance with CDC recommendations, as well as state and federal public health guidance. Using these standards, they assessed spaces across Grounds to calculate reduced room capacities and reconfigure furniture to promote physical distancing. Staff have designed, fabricated, and installed nearly 500 plastic barriers and dividers with new orders coming in each day. In addition, they designed, produced, and are installing new signage in nearly 340 buildings. They also are installing 2,600 hand sanitizer stanchions and 750 hands-free door openers. Housekeeping staff have been trained on enhanced cleaning protocols and HVAC specialists have assessed heating, ventilation and cooling systems across Grounds.
RETURNING TO WORK ON GROUNDS
Reminder: Mandatory Employee Training Modules
All Academic Division faculty and staff are reminded to complete the Return to Grounds training module prior to the start of the Fall 2020 semester, as well as the acknowledgement that they have reviewed the content and agree to abide by the safety conditions outlined. More information on these modules is available on UVA HR’s Return to Grounds site.
Resources for Benefits-Eligible Employees With Childcare, Eldercare Needs
COVID-19 has created new challenges for many individuals and families, and UVA provides benefits and resources to assist employees in meeting childcare and eldercare needs.
Benefits to Assist with Caregiving: Resources include Bright Horizons Back-up Care either in-home or at a licensed facility and access to SitterCity, an online hub for available care providers. For more information on these resources visit the UVA HR Caregiving website.
Flexible Work Arrangements: Managers may consider allowing employees to work flexible work arrangements such as remote work or a change to working hours during UVA’s modified status. Employees should speak with their managers to discuss flexible options that are appropriate to meet care obligations and needs of the department.
Student Requirements: More Information Coming Next Week
As the start of classes draws nearer, students will need to meet several requirements if they plan to live or learn on Grounds or in the Charlottesville area this fall. Next week, students will receive an email message outlining those requirements, which include:
Viewing a video on new rules and norms.
Signing an agreement committing to follow those rules and norms.
Demonstrating a negative test result via a COVID-19 self-administered test.
Guidance for Students Taking Self-Administered Tests
A small number of graduate students in programs that begin early are taking self-administered tests over the next few days. Anyone with a positive test result should self-isolate immediately and inform their health care provider of their positive test result. Students living in Charlottesville should consider Student Health and Wellness to be your health care provider. If you are a student living in Charlottesville with severe symptoms, please contact Student Health and Wellness at 434-982-3915 during business hours, and after hours at 434-297-4261. For a medical emergency, call 911. If you have no symptoms or mild symptoms and are living in Charlottesville, you can contact Student Health and Wellness during normal business hours to report your positive test result.