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Staying Healthy and Safe This Year

To the University community, 

We are writing today to provide an update on the University’s public health approach for the 2022-23 academic year, as well as some guidance on how to stay healthy and safe as we prepare for a successful and rewarding semester on Grounds together. 

Overall, members of this community can expect a very similar approach to the one we took after we lifted masking mandates during the spring semester, which continued into the summer. More than two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we expect that the virus will continue to play a part in life at UVA this academic year. Thankfully, we are beginning the year with several advantages that we did not have in previous phases of this global pandemic. 

The first advantage is the high rate of UVA community members who are vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. The vaccines remain effective at preventing infections and even more effective at reducing risks of serious illness or hospitalization. Last year, we learned that the overwhelming majority of University students, faculty, and staff are vaccinated, and a recent survey indicates that more than 95% of incoming students are as well. 

We are also fortunate that the strains of the virus that are most prevalent today often result in milder symptoms than previous strains did, particularly for those who are healthy and those who are fully vaccinated. 

With that being said, there are a few important steps we can all take together to reduce the chances of COVID-19 infection and to protect people in our community and the area around us who are at higher risk of serious illness. 

We strongly encourage all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated or boosted as soon as possible. If you have not yet been vaccinated, you can schedule an appointment today.  

For those who are up to date on their vaccines, the University is monitoring the development of new boosters designed to protect against new variants and preparing to provide members of our community access to them as soon as they are approved and distributed. 

We encourage all UVA community members to carry a mask with you when you leave your residence and to familiarize yourself with CDC guidance for when they should be worn. If you are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19, please wear a mask, even if you have not tested positive, and contact Student Health & Wellness or Employee Health as appropriate. While masking will be a personal decision, there may be times when members of our community are more comfortable masking or maintaining physical distance and we should all continue to treat each other with kindness and respect. 

If you do test positive for COVID-19, either from an at-home test or one administered by a health provider, please isolate in a manner consistent with the recommendations of the CDC . We urge all members of this community, and especially students, to think ahead about where you would isolate in the event you do contract COVID-19, whether that is at your residence here in the Charlottesville region, at home, or in another place where you can stay away from people who may have a high risk of serious illness. A very limited number of rooms have been set aside for students with immunocompromised conditions or exceptional circumstances.

UVA Student Health & Wellness has developed a useful infographic to help on-Grounds students plan their response if they test positive or are exposed to COVID sometime this year. Additionally, this infographic offers more general advice for all students about what to do if they are experiencing symptoms, test positive, or have been exposed to someone who tested positive. 

For more information about UVA’s approach to COVID-19, including FAQs for students, faculty, and staff, please visit the University’s Coronavirus Information page.

Finally, University leaders and public health officials are also monitoring the latest data and information about the spread of monkeypox. The Virginia Department of Health and UVA Student Health & Wellness offer informational resources on this new illness and the best ways to protect yourself. If we identify a need to modify our public health approach in response to monkeypox, we will inform you of those changes as soon as possible. 

Let us close by saying how excited and hopeful we are about the coming academic year at the University of Virginia. The need to adapt to this pandemic has illuminated the courage and resilience of this community and the incredible capacity we have to look out for our fellow Hoos. While we remain vigilant about these public health challenges, we are confident that this year will be as rich and rewarding for our students, faculty, and staff as any we have had before. 

Thank you, as always, for all you do to make this University great and good. 


Ian Baucom

J.J. Wagner Davis
Chief Operating Officer