You are here

Spring 2021 Update
In This Email:
  • UVA has aligned with the CDC on when a mask isn’t needed outdoors.
  • Gathering limits have been increased to 25 indoors and 75 outdoors due to rising vaccination rates and low case counts. Physical distancing is required at gatherings of any size.
  • The Virginia Department of Health now offers a link to schedule a second vaccine dose appointment for people who are no longer in the location where they received their first dose.

As vaccines become more available and the prevalence of the virus declines or holds steady in Virginia and many parts of the country, federal and state officials have made several announcements over the past week that will affect UVA’s public health policies and practices going forward.

On Monday, the Attorney General of Virginia issued an opinion stating that colleges and universities have the legal authority to require people who live, learn, or work in-person to be vaccinated against COVID-19. University leaders, public health experts, and legal advisers are evaluating that opinion and we will make an announcement as soon as we finalize our vaccine policy for the coming academic year.

Vaccines are available to UVA community members aged 16 and older now, so please get vaccinated as soon as you can to protect your health and the health of the people around you. More information about UVA’s vaccine approach is in the update below.

On Tuesday, the US Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance, which says that people who have been fully vaccinated can safely gather with others outdoors without wearing a mask. University public health experts agree with that change and we have updated University policy accordingly. This change also applies when vaccinated people are walking or running outdoors, whether alone or with someone else. This guidance only applies to situations outdoors and when social distancing of at least 6 feet between individuals can occur.

As a reminder, our current outdoor gathering policy allows for gatherings of 75 people or less, as long as the gathering space allows for every person to remain 6 feet apart at all times. Masks will still be required for everyone in larger settings, like athletics events or the University’s upcoming Final Exercises ceremonies. Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated should continue wearing a mask any time they are around others. The University’s policy on wearing masks indoors remains the same it has been all year and the indoor gathering limit is now 25 as long as physical distancing is possible.

UVA Health is also in the process of resuming the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, now that the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have said it is safe for use and that the risk of side effects is very low. UVA medical experts agree with the CDC and FDA that the personal and public health benefits of receiving this vaccine outweigh the very small risks. UVA Health providers will educate anyone who may receive that vaccine about the potential risks. UVA Health will also continue to offer the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as well. More information on the federal review of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available here.

Each of these changes is a reflection of progress we are making in the battle against the virus. We are so grateful for the many ways UVA community members are doing their part, most significantly by getting vaccinated as soon as possible and continuing to observe the University’s health and safety measures. Thank you for your ongoing dedication to keeping each other healthy and safe and to making this challenging year as rewarding as possible for all of us.


Liz Magill
Provost

JJ Davis
Chief Operating Officer

 
PUBLIC HEALTH
Vaccination Update
Vaccines are now widely available and every member of our community age 16 and older is now eligible for a vaccine. Invitations to schedule first-dose vaccination appointments have now been sent to all students, faculty and staff.

Anyone who has not had an opportunity to schedule a first-dose appointment or needs to reschedule one can call the UVA COVID Vaccine Call Center at (434) 297-4829 (4VAX). Agents are available to assist you Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can learn more about UVA’s vaccination efforts here.
Second Doses for Students: Appointments Available through VaccineFinder
Earlier this week, the Virginia Department of Health announced its commitment to ensuring that students can get appointments for their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine if they are no longer in the location where they received their first dose. If, for example, you received your first dose at the UVA Health site at Seminole Square but you will be outside the Charlottesville area when your second dose is due, you may look for an appointment using VaccineFinder.org.

If you are having difficulty obtaining a second dose appointment through VaccineFinder.org, please call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682) and an agent will help you find an appointment. You can also email 2ndvaxdose@vdh.virginia.gov for assistance.

If you receive a first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you should receive a second dose of the same vaccine. The safety and efficacy of mixing first and second doses of different vaccines is unknown. 
Asymptomatic Testing for Students and Employees
Beginning May 10, saliva tests will be used for all asymptomatic testing for enrolled students and UVA employees. Appointments should be scheduled via the Time2Test platform. For information on specific testing locations, dates and times please visit the Be SAFE website. Beginning May 25, all saliva tests will be conducted at the Student Activities Building (SAB) off Alderman Road near Scott Stadium. Parking is available on site.
 
OPERATIONS
Final Reminder: Required COVID Prevention Training Course, Deadline May 1
All UVA Academic Division employees are required to complete the COVID Prevention Training Course by May 1 (this Saturday). The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry mandates all members of the University complete this course and acknowledge that you agree to abide by the safety standards as outlined. It should take just 5-6 minutes to complete.
 
ACADEMIC LIFE
Grading Options Deadline Friday
The deadline for eligible students to make final decisions about grading options in SIS is tomorrow, Friday, April 30, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Please view these step-by-step instructions on how to review and change current grading options for classes in SIS.
 
STUDENT LIFE 
Class of 2021 Final Exercises Tickets Deadline
The deadline for members of the Class of 2021 to register for tickets for guests is this Sunday, May 2. For more information and to register, visit the Major Events ticketing site.
IM-Rec Sports
As we near the end of this challenging year, IM-Rec Sports would like to thank UVA community members for the sacrifices you have made to keep each other healthy and safe. For those who will be in Charlottesville for all or part of the summer, IM-Rec Sports offers a summer gym pass to help you stay active. Click here for details.
Planning Ahead for Travel
Students are encouraged to prepare now for end-of-semester travel, especially if traveling by air. Some airlines may require a negative PCR test within 72 hours of your flight, making timing of your test critical. You may also need to show proof of vaccination or a letter of recovery. For more travel guidance, see the infographic.
 
NEWS FROM UVA TODAY
UVA Weekly, Spring 2021: Drumming Up Gratitude
UVA’s Cavalier Marching Band shared its appreciation for health care and transportation workers as only they can – with a very spirited drum line! MORE >
UVA Eases Gathering Limits as Cases Remain Low, Vaccinations Rise
Public health protocols, including physical distancing and mask-wearing, remain in effect for gatherings of any size. MORE >

Questions?

  • Domestic - 833-454-6902
  • International - +1 202 800-2408