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Update on COVID-19 Issues and Policies

To the University Community: 

As we kick off the new academic year together in Charlottesville, we would like to update you on a few key issues related to the University’s response to COVID-19. If you have questions about other elements of UVA’s health and safety plans, you can review Frequently Asked Questions and previous communications at the University’s coronavirus website.


University Events
Unlike last year, we will be able to return to a typical calendar of events. We will, however, be required to observe the following rules:
  • Masking policy at outdoor events:
    • People who are vaccinated will not be required to wear masks while attending large outdoor events like UVA football games or outdoor concerts. Masks, however, will be required at these events in enclosed spaces like restrooms, elevators, or the indoor portion of hospitality suites, unless guests are actively eating or drinking. As noted below, we encourage eating and drinking to occur outdoors if possible.
    • Unvaccinated people will still be required to wear masks whenever they are around other people, whether inside or outside. 
  • The University’s indoor masking requirements for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people remain unchanged. Click here to review UVA’s current policy on masks. 
  • As masks cannot be worn while actively eating and drinking, we encourage all events that involve eating and drinking to take place outdoors if possible.  
Gather Outdoors Whenever Possible
UVA community members are strongly encouraged to gather outdoors as much as possible in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus, including the highly contagious Delta variant. That encouragement extends to social gatherings as well as events, particularly those where food or drink are served. While masks are not required in residence halls or private homes, we encourage community members to exercise sound judgment when gathering around others in an indoor setting, particularly with people from outside of their living arrangement. All guests to the University are expected to comply with masking requirements as outlined in University policy.


Testing, Isolation, and Quarantine
UVA’s high vaccination rates will allow for a more normal residential academic experience this year. We do expect members of our community to test positive over the course of the year, either because they are unvaccinated or as a result of a rare breakthrough infection.  

As has always been true from the beginning of this pandemic, any student, faculty, or staff member who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested immediately through Student Health and Wellness or UVA Employee Health

In addition to that guidance on symptomatic testing, we have worked with University public health officials to develop protocols for testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine. To review those protocols, which include next steps for students who test positive, are experiencing symptoms, or have been in close contact with an infected individual, click here

Student Health and Wellness has also produced this infographic to help students identify if they have been a close contact of an infected person and what to do next if they are.

Employees who believe they may be a close contact should contact UVA Employee Health (434-924-2013). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides useful guidance on when individuals should isolate and when they should quarantine.


More to Follow on Masking Policy
University leaders and public health experts continue to monitor the progression of the pandemic. As we said on Aug. 6, we will review the University’s indoor masking requirement over the coming weeks with the hope that conditions will permit us to modify or lift it. We will update you on that policy no later than Sept. 6.


Liz Magill
Executive Vice President and Provost

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


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