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Preparing for a Safe Finals Weekend

To the University Community:

As we reach the end of another remarkable year, people across the University community are hard at work preparing to celebrate the Class of 2022 at Final Exercises next week.

As you may be aware, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the UVA community have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. While we do not intend to change our public health policies in advance of Finals Weekend, we have worked with University public health experts to develop a set of reminders and recommendations intended to help make Finals Weekend as safe and successful as possible for all involved.  

First, and most importantly, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, please do not attend Final Exercises, even if you have tested negative for COVID-19 in advance of your arrival. We are all aware of cases in which someone who is experiencing symptoms tests positive after multiple negative tests. The best way to keep people safe at Finals is for anyone who is experiencing symptoms to stay home.

Second, if you are planning to attend Final Exercises or any large event, we strongly recommend making sure you are fully up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots. These are the most powerful tools we have to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and people who are not fully vaccinated are at much higher risk of contracting the virus and developing serious illness. If you are not fully vaccinated and boosted, you should consider whether attending this event is worth the risk to your health and the health of the people around you.

Third, due to an increase in viral prevalence, we encourage the wearing of masks while attending indoor events or riding on buses and shuttles. This is especially true for those who have chronic health conditions and those who are not fully vaccinated. While we will not require mask wearing, we ask all attendees to consider this simple step to prevent the virus from spreading while we celebrate together.

Lastly, if possible, please consider taking a COVID-19 test before you attend Final Exercises, and follow CDC isolation protocols if you test positive. At-home tests are widely available at local pharmacies and, while not foolproof, these tests can help ensure that those attending Final Exercises are not unknowingly carrying the virus.

Finals Weekend is a joyful opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of those who worked hard to graduate from this University. These particular Final Exercises are even more profound due to the unique challenges these graduates overcame due to the pandemic, and the incredible efforts they made to keep themselves and the people around them healthy and safe. As we prepare to honor their efforts, please consider taking extra precautions to ensure that these ceremonies are as happy and safe as possible for everyone involved.

Thank you,

Ian Baucom
Executive Vice President and Provost

J.J. Davis
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer