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As the pandemic has progressed, many have talked about a new normal. This week, the UVA community saw a number of examples of that new reality and what it means to live within it.

In the new normal, UVA will ask students to take COVID-19 tests at the Student Activities Building or in their residence hall and may even ask them to stay in their rooms while tests are processed.

In this new normal, our success in containing the virus relies on every member of the UVA community putting their health and the health of others first. This means leaving a bar or gathering if crowding makes physical distancing impossible. As we all adjust to new restrictions over the next two weeks, it also means that the University will continue to adapt our policies if necessary to stop the spread of the virus. Finally, it means that if students violate our health and safety policies flagrantly, the University will take disciplinary actions, including suspensions.

We recognize that this week has been challenging for many members of our community. This virus is relentless and our efforts to combat it can often be disruptive. The reality is, if we are going to have a successful semester together, this is going to be our new normal.

We hope that you believe, as we do, that being on Grounds together is worth the adjustment to the new normal. We also hope you agree that we have the capacity to make this semester a success and make UVA an example of how a university community can adapt and advance its mission, even in a pandemic. As President Ryan said in his video on Tuesday, this is going to be hard, but we are capable of doing the hard things if we work together. 

Liz Magill

J.J. Davis
Chief Operating Officer
Temporary Changes to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19
On Tuesday, President Ryan announced key changes to University policy for the next two weeks:
  • Gatherings and events are now limited to 5 people maximum both on-Grounds and off-Grounds. 
  • Masks are required at all times, indoors and outdoors, unless you’re at home in your room, eating, or exercising outdoors or in accordance with the guidelines at one of our on-Grounds IM-Rec facilities.
  • For students, we urge no travel outside of Charlottesville, unless truly necessary, and no visitors from outside Charlottesville. 
For more information read the University’s health and safety policies.
UVA COVID Tracker 2.0
In order to keep our community informed, UVA has added several key metrics to its COVID Tracker.
UVA Testing Wastewater to Detect and Respond to Cases Early
Faculty and Facilities Management staff are working together on early detection of COVID in residence halls. See Q&A: How UVA’s Residence Hall Wastewater Virus Testing Works.
Ongoing Student Prevalence Testing
Mandatory prevalence testing for asymptomatic students has begun. Students should watch their email for messages from UVA Prevalence Testing. For more information visit UVA Today
COVID-19 Testing at Student Health and Wellness
COVID-19 testing at SHW is performed through UVA Health’s laboratory and is dedicated solely to students with symptoms or who are close contacts, as defined by the CDC and Virginia Department of Health. Other sites in the Charlottesville area may be available for COVID-19 testing for reasons beyond these guidelines (call ahead). Please note that UVA Health’s community-based testing clinics are intended for local citizens, including frontline workers, and are not serving UVA students or employees.

Students will not be subject to disciplinary action for a positive test result or for any information disclosed to contact tracers. 
New Athletics Attendance and Parking Policies
Due to health and safety considerations and current guidelines for sports venues, attendance at UVA home competitions will be limited to family of student-athletes and each team’s coaching staff until further notice. Parking lots surrounding Scott Stadium will be closed to the public; tailgating is not permitted anywhere on Grounds.
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.
Dependent Care Update
There are now many more dependent care resources available to employees from back-up care to school and tutoring support due to increasing need. UVA HR has provided detailed information on all of these resources on the new Dependent Care webpage.
Final Deadline for Living/Learning on Grounds
September 30 is the last date students may change their mind about living/learning on Grounds or in the local area and have their mandatory and student activity fee adjusted accordingly. After that date, students who are living/learning locally and decide to leave will not have their fees reduced. Students who have decided to live/learn away from Grounds and the Charlottesville/Albemarle communities will not be eligible to return to Grounds or the local communities to participate in-person. If you wish to change your status before September 30, please contact the Return to Grounds call center at
To-Do for October: Get a Flu Shot
Student Health and Wellness (SHW) encourages all students to get a flu shot before the end of October. Please see the SHW website for more information. In addition, students can receive their flu vaccine from SHW by calling 434-924-5362 to make an appointment.
Reminder: Masks Required in University Outdoor Tents
Students are encouraged to use the University tents stationed at different places on Grounds to eat or gather with friends at a safe physical distance. As a reminder, masks are required within the tents, in accordance with University policy requiring that masks be worn at all times unless you’re at home in your room, eating, or exercising outdoors or in accordance with the guidelines at one of our on-Grounds IM-Rec facilities.
President Jim Ryan addressed the University community Tuesday evening, outlining three new restrictions that will be in place for at least the next two weeks. MORE >
Q&A: Get Your Flu Shot? Yes, Even in the Time of COVID-19
Dr. Jessica Simmons of UVA Student Health and Wellness explains why. MORE >
Q&A: How UVA’s Residence Hall Wastewater Virus Testing Works
Analyzing wastewater of residence halls can yield evidence of COVID-19, leading to individual testing of occupants or other approaches. MORE >
What’s New With UVA’s COVID Dashboard 2.0?
The upgraded dashboard includes additional data points to make it more informative and to provide a fuller picture of the prevalence of the virus in the University community. MORE >


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