Optional masking in class and non-clinical areas, updates on Finals
In this email:
- As public health conditions continue to improve, masks will be optional while in class, effective March 28.
- UVA Health will make masks optional in non-clinical spaces, also effective March 28.
- Final Exercises for 2022 will proceed as planned. Attendees will be encouraged, but not required, to be vaccinated. Masks will not be required.
To the University Community:
As viral conditions continue to improve in our area (the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now classifies Charlottesville, Albemarle and many other localities in our region as places where transmission is “low”), we are writing to announce several additional changes to the University’s response to the pandemic.
Effective March 28, we will move forward with the plan we discussed last week to make masks optional while in class. As conditions have grown safer, we believe this will offer students and faculty the best possible classroom experience for the remainder of this academic year.
This step does not preclude anyone from continuing to wear a mask while in class, and research suggests that a high-quality mask like a KN-95 or N-95 can offer effective protection. As we navigate the shift to most settings being mask-optional, we are encouraging everyone to treat each other with respect and common courtesy. Depending on the situation, this may mean being willing to put on a mask when asked, communicating masking preferences in advance, or offering to meet virtually if appropriate. UVA community members are encouraged to carry a mask in case they are asked to wear one.
Faculty members who have extenuating health circumstances should contact their associate deans.
Also effective on March 28, masks will no longer be required in non-clinical areas at UVA Health facilities. Masks will continue to be required in all buildings where patient care is provided. UVA Health will email team members directly with more information about this change. Guidelines for patients and visitors to UVA Health will be updated in the coming days at UVAHealth.com.
Finally, we would like to share an update on our plans for Finals Weekend 2022. In conjunction with our current policies, we anticipate that masks will not be required for indoor or outdoor elements of the celebrations. We also strongly encourage everyone who attends Finals to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations before traveling to Charlottesville, but we will not be imposing a vaccination requirement.
We are confident that these changes will permit this community to finish the academic year on a high note and to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2022 safely. As always, we are constantly monitoring local, national and global viral conditions and will make changes to our policies if they are necessary to keep people safe.
Executive Vice President and Provost
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer