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July 9, 2020

Welcome to the first edition of the University of Virginia’s “Return to Grounds Update.” This new communication will offer updates on the upcoming fall semester and the ways we can all work together to make a safe and successful return to Grounds.

As we reported in an email on June 17, the University is planning to welcome students back to Grounds in August and to hold many courses in person. Large classes and gatherings will be held virtually and all students, faculty, and staff will be expected to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by maintaining physical distance, tracking symptoms with an app, and wearing masks in common spaces.

This weekly update will be the primary source for information about the decisions we are making and how they will affect students, faculty, staff, and our Charlottesville neighbors. Our Return to Grounds website and student hub will continue to be the home for all of the information we have provided to date, as well as answers to many frequently asked questions.

This week’s Return to Grounds Update features a new guide for employees on returning to work safely, new information on first-year orientation and course registration, and the latest on how faculty and staff with special health considerations can request and receive accommodations. In the coming weeks we will provide an update on the University’s health and safety plans, including COVID-19 testing, and other steps we are taking to deliver on the mission of our University as safely as possible.

On behalf of President Ryan and the leadership here at UVA, we want to thank you for your continued patience and perseverance during this challenging time.

Liz Magill

J.J. Davis
Chief Operating Officer
Guide Provides Key Information for Academic Division Faculty, Staff on Safely Returning to Work
A Return to Grounds Guide available on the UVA Human Resources website provides Academic Division faculty, staff, and student-workers with general information they need to know as they prepare to return to on-Grounds workplaces, as well as links to additional resources.
Required Training Videos for Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff will be required to complete a Return to Grounds training module prior to their return. The module will explain basic safety standards and set behavioral expectations for returning to Grounds. A second training module for managers will provide additional details necessary to support team members. More information and links to the training modules will be included in future editions of the Weekly Update.
Request for Work Accommodations or Modifications
Individual circumstances make some members of the University community more vulnerable than others to the effects of COVID-19, and UVA will make every effort to grant requests for reasonable accommodations or modifications from faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants. For information see the UVA HR Return to Grounds website.
Additional Details on Return to Work for All Employees
For Academic Division faculty and staff, returning to work safely includes multiple considerations and options. In addition to the resources above, the University continues to develop and post guidance and information on issues such as telecommuting options, teaching and research, a new health check app, parking and transportation, cleaning protocols, and other topics. Find additional information and resources at the UVA Human Resources site.
Virtual Orientation and Course Registration Begin for New Students
Virtual orientation for new undergraduate students began July 6 with individual course enrollment appointments, which are scheduled by each student’s school and continue through July 29. Appointments for incoming transfer students take place July 27 and 29.
Engagement Opportunities Offer Resources and Advice
New students may choose from a diverse lineup of virtual engagement sessions that include advising help, free exercise and yoga classes, advice on buying a new computer, and other topics. Online Bingo Nights, hosted by the UVA Alumni Association, an E-Sports Tournament, and a Virtual 5K are among the options. Sessions continue through mid-August.
Travel Restrictions Extended
Restrictions on travel that were implemented in the spring have been extended. For more information and instructions about how to request exceptions to the policy, see the Return to Grounds website.
UVA Outlines ‘Return to Grounds’ Plan for Fall Academic Semester
The University’s plan emphasizes safety elements such as virus testing, mask requirements, social distancing, and thorough sanitizing of spaces. MORE >
UVA Will Provide Students, Employees With PPE
Working with local vendors, the University is purchasing cloth face coverings and other safety equipment to protect students and employees from COVID-19. MORE >


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