Public Health Measures
Ongoing Public Health and Safety Measures for all UVA Community members
Public Health Measures
In a comprehensive effort to mitigate the risk of virus exposure and transmission throughout the academic year, the University implemented enhanced cleaning protocols based on CDC and industry guidance; adapted services and facilities to abide by state regulations; installed signs and physical barriers to promote physical distancing, along with thousands of hand sanitizer stations across Grounds; and provided PPE (two cloth face coverings) for each employee and student. The University also has imposed health and safety requirements on every student, faculty, and staff member who will be on Grounds this fall in a comprehensive effort to mitigate the risk of virus exposure and transmission. All members of the University community must comply with policies and procedures designed to keep members of the UVA and broader community safe. All those returning to Grounds, including all students and employees, were required to complete a training module that provides key information about what is necessary to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. At the conclusion of this training, all students and employees were required to acknowledge the risks presented by the virus and agree to abide by these important safety protocols. A summary of these public health measures is provided here:
- New Temporary Limits on Gathering Size. Starting January 19, 2021 and continuing through the first two weeks of the semester, the University will limit the size of gatherings to no more than six people.
- Daily Health Check. All students, faculty, and staff planning to be on Grounds or working in a UVA Health facility are required to complete a daily check on symptoms related to COVID-19 through the HOOS Health Check app (available in Apple and Google Play stores)or website. HOOS Health Check is designed to make individuals aware of their symptoms, to encourage personal responsibility, and, if the individual exhibits symptoms, to provide resources and next steps. For more information, please see FAQs on HOOS Health Check.
- Guidance for community members who have contracted COVID-19. All UVA community members who are in the Charlottesville region this semester will be required to follow University health and safety policies around masks, physical distancing, testing, gatherings, and other key behaviors, including those who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 or who have been vaccinated. There are many reasons for this approach, including:
- The science around whether previous COVID-19 patients can contract the virus and spread it to others again is inconclusive.
- People who contract COVID-19 may shed the virus for a period of time that extends past the alleviation of symptoms or a positive test.
- Fellow UVA community members have no way of knowing which people previously tested positive and which are putting themselves and others at risk by ignoring health and safety standards. Universal adherence will avoid anxiety and potential conflict.
- Most importantly, following these standards is part of the commitment people who are on Grounds make to the University and to each other.
- Travel. Restrictions on all University international and non-essential domestic travel will remain in place for the foreseeable future, regardless of funding source. For details, including information about seeking approval for exceptions, please review University Policy SEC-046: Health & Safety Requirement – Travel Restrictions on International and Domestic Travel for Business & Instructional Purposes. Due to the health and safety risks associated with travel during a pandemic, the University anticipates a limited number of approvals and only in exceptional circumstances.
Effective enforcement relies on a commitment by students, faculty, and staff to remind one another of appropriate policies and guidelines, and to hold one another accountable. If you see something, you should respectfully say something. Remind them of the appropriate public health guideline and ask if you can help them. For example, you might offer to assist them in locating a mask or accessing a resource. Respectfully engaging with others to promote compliance is the best way to ensure the University maintains a healthy and safe environment for all. UVA HR has also developed guidance for managers and employees on how to promote mask wearing and proper behavior on and around Grounds.
The University has defined non-compliance of University adopted public health policies and guidelines into two categories: minor and infrequent, and significant or repetitive. Minor and infrequent non-compliance is defined as unintentional or accidental violations of the University’s adopted public health policies or guidelines that occur infrequently, without the intent to harm or disrupt, and result in prompt action by the offending party to enter into compliance. Minor and infrequent non-compliance should be addressed at the lowest level possible through community ownership and active bystander engagement. Significant non-compliance is defined as intentional or reckless violations of the University’s adopted public health policies or guidelines. Such violations include engaging in conduct which intentionally or recklessly threatens the health and safety of the University community. Repetitive non-compliance refers to repeated violations of University adopted public health policies or guidelines despite informal feedback and/or bystander engagement. The University has provided a reporting platform for significant or repetitive violations. This platform can be found on the Just Report It and UVA Emergency Management websites.
In addition to the reporting platforms available to members of the UVA community, the University has developed a reporting form, specifically for persons in the surrounding community, to share concerns or to report behavior that may be contrary to our policies and the expectations of our students and employees regarding COVID-19 compliance. For more information, please visit the Community Concerns Reporting Portal.
The Virginia Department of Health is charged with managing the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the Commonwealth. VDH’s determinations about eligibility for vaccines follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and recommendations from the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Under those guidelines, groups at greatest risk of contracting COVID-19 or suffering serious cases of it have been given top priority. VDH has announced its prioritization for vaccine distribution, identifying three priority groups, denoted as 1A, 1B, and 1C. Its full guidance can be found here.
The Blue Ridge Health District, the local office of VDH, is leading this effort for Central Virginia with the assistance of UVA Health.
Faculty & Staff: Most faculty and staff from higher education institutions will be part of group 1C.
Students: Other than students who work in a health care setting as trainees, it is not yet known what phase will include the general student population.
You can learn more about the local vaccination program, who is included in the various phases, and complete a survey to be placed on the vaccine list if you are currently eligible on the BRHD website.
Details on the timing of the rollout of future phases will be shared by BRHD as they become available. BRHD is making all decisions on prioritization for vaccine distribution. UVA will administer doses as directed by BRHD and the University is not making determinations on who may get vaccinated.
Even after vaccination, members of the community are encouraged to continue following public health protocols: wear a mask, wash hands frequently, practice physical distancing, and avoid large gatherings, especially indoors.
Please do not schedule a vaccine appointment unless you have received an email directly from BRHD or UVA that it is your time to schedule an appointment. You will be turned away from the vaccine clinic if you are not eligible for a vaccine during this phase.
Questions on vaccine distribution should be directed to BRHD:
- COVID hotline (434-972-6261, open M-F, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
- Email - BRhealthdistrict@gmail.com
- Visit - https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/blue-ridge/covid-19-vaccination/
The BRHD provides health services for residents of Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson. If you live outside the district’s boundaries, please contact your local health district for more information.