Newsletter: Stay Focused, Halloween, Spring Break Days
Thanks to your efforts wearing masks, observing physical distancing, and changing how you socialize, case counts within the UVA community this week are low and our quarantine and isolation capacity is high. We are continuing to ramp up testing among students, faculty, and staff, as well as within the Charlottesville community.
These are all positive developments. They are not, however, a reason for us to lose our focus or let up in our efforts to limit the spread of the virus.
Communities all over our country are grappling with a new spike in COVID-19 cases. While we haven’t seen such an uptick in our area so far, the coming winter weather makes this a crucial moment for UVA. If we continue to do the simple things that prevent transmission of the virus, we can keep each other healthy and safe and keep our semester on track.
On the other hand, if we let our guard down, particularly as we all begin to spend more time indoors, we risk a spike in cases that could result in increased COVID-19 restrictions or even changes to our plan for the remainder of the year.
We recognize that the overwhelming majority of you are following University policy designed to limit the spread – and your efforts are paying off. However, there are a couple of things that we have seen and heard over the past few weeks that raise concerns.
First, it is important to remember that our decision to raise the limit for groups from five to 10 should not be interpreted as a sign that the threat of the virus has passed or there is no need to continue to follow all University policies on masks and physical distancing.
Additionally, people in our community who have recovered from the virus are still expected to wear a mask, observe physical distancing, and avoid large groups. The update below includes links to an “After COVID-19” guide with more information.
This week’s update also includes more information on the Fall 2021 academic calendar and the dates that undergraduate students will have to rest and recharge in lieu of a traditional Spring Break.
Finally, as Dean Groves said earlier today, we are particularly concerned about Halloween this year and potential for celebrations to turn into super-spreader events that undo the progress we have made fighting the virus as a community. While Halloween is a perfect time to continue wearing masks, please also continue to follow University policies on physical distancing and limitations on groups.
As the weather turns and cases rise in Virginia and across the country, we are approaching a major test of our community’s ability to limit the spread of the virus. As we have demonstrated so far this semester, we have the capacity to meet the moment if we stay vigilant and do the right things to keep ourselves and our neighbors healthy and safe.
Liz Magill Provost
J.J. Davis Chief Operating Officer
PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES
Limiting the Spread Over Halloween
Earlier today, Dean of Students Allen Groves wrote to students with tips and advice for celebrating Halloween while following University policies and limiting the spread of the virus.
New Resource: After COVID-19
Students who have left isolation and are recovering or have recovered from COVID-19 still need to follow all public health guidelines (wear a mask, physically distance, frequently wash hands, etc.). In addition, they now have unique health concerns and considerations. Please review the new Student Health and Wellness resource page, After COVID-19 for a list of Q&A.
Reminder: Hoos Health Check and COVIDWISE
Hoos Health Check: Everyone is required to use Hoos Health Check each day they come to Grounds. Have questions? Visit the FAQs.
COVIDWISE: Use your phone to fight COVID-19 by downloading COVIDWISE, the Virginia Department of Health’s exposure notification app.
Dates for Undergraduate Break Days in Spring 2021
As noted in last week’s Return to Grounds newsletter, while the University will not observe Spring Break, several days will be offered to allow undergraduate students and faculty to rest and recharge from their academic work. The University has selected Wednesday, Feb. 17; Tuesday, March 9; Monday, March 29; and Thursday, April 15 for these break days. Visit the Academic Calendar for more information.
New Tools to Monitor Library Occupancy
To help UVA community members make informed decisions about using the library safely, you can now check the library’s occupancy in real time. Visit library.virginia.edu/status to get updated information on library access, services, and spaces.
J-Term and Spring Registration Dates
Enrollment appointments for J-Term are now visible in SIS and enrollment begins Nov. 9. Enrollment for Spring 2021 will begin in the week of Dec. 14. See the Registrar’s FAQ page for more information on J-Term eligibility.
RETURNING TO WORK
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.
New Tool Connects UVA Parents and Guardians
A new UVA Parent/Guardian Connection Tool helps similarly situated UVA parents/guardians to match with others who are interested in sharing a virtual tutor, arranging a virtual playdate or enrichment activity, or connecting with other parents with same aged children. Learn more here.
New Dining Options on Grounds
Check out the new made-to-order pasta station next to the dessert station at O’Hill, new offerings at the Traditions station, and a new service style rotation. Students can use flex dollars to purchase a Farmers Market in a Bag containing local items like apple cider, local greens, and fresh baked items.
Mark your calendar for upcoming special events:
Tuesday, Nov. 3 – join us for a memorable farm-to-table culinary experience when Harvest Table Culinary Group takes over Runk Dining Hall during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This team of chefs, hospitality experts, and foodies is dedicated to delivering a premier student-focused culinary experience and will have an ongoing presence on Grounds this spring.
All three dining rooms will offer a Thanksgiving Feast menu during the week before Thanksgiving break
All parents are invited to join President Jim Ryan for a virtual town hall on Friday, Oct. 30, from 3-4 p.m. Following the president’s remarks, Pat Lampkin, vice president and chief student affairs officer, will moderate a Q&A session featuring a panel of nine University leaders. Please register in advance to participate or submit questions.
New Fun Activities from IM-Rec Sports
Check out more fun activities from IM-Rec Sports, including:
Over 30 Group Exercise classes offered each week at the AFC & NGRC
The VIRTUAL 29th Annual 4Y5K is put on by UVA’s Peer Health Educators. Participants can race any time Oct. 25 to Nov. 1. Registration is $15. All proceeds from the race will be donated to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation and their Community Emergency Response Fund.