Public Health Measures
UVA Covid-19 Prevention, Detection, and Response Plan
The plan outlined below includes measures to help maintain the safety of students, faculty, staff, contractors, and community members during the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan is subject to change and will remain flexible to adjust to an uncertain and rapidly changing landscape. The University is closely monitoring key metrics and is working on a COVID-19 dashboard that will be shared and will track key metrics like the rate of infections and our operational readiness to respond to the virus. We stand ready to alter our operations and plans based on these metrics. We are grateful to all members of our community for their diligence in following the guidelines outlined below. A printable copy of the UVA COVID-19 Prevention, Detection, and Response Plan is available.
Testing Requirements for Students Returning to Grounds
All undergraduate and graduate students who plan to be on Grounds this fall will be required to take a COVID-19 viral PCR test and present their results to the University prior to their return. Students who do not comply with this requirement will not be able to return to Grounds.
- UVA has contracted with a 3rd party vendor, Let’s Get Checked, to provide testing for students at their homes. There will be no charge for this test. Students are strongly encouraged to use the 3rd party vendor. (If a student strongly prefers to be tested by another provider, the student may arrange fora test to be performed at the student’s own expense, and the test result must be provided to Student Health.)
- Students will be notified of test availability during the first week of August and will be directed to an online portal that will provide instructions for ordering kits and returning them after use. Students should order their test kits as soon as possible after the portal opens.
- Approximately 7 days before returning to Grounds, each student will self-administer a COVID-19 test and return the sample back to the test provider for viral testing. Test results will be available approximately 24-48 hours after the laboratory receives a student’s sample.
- It is imperative that students send their sample back no fewer than 7 days prior to the student’s arrival on Grounds to allow time for the lab to receive and process their test and provide the results to Student Health.
- For students who live on-Grounds, the return to Grounds is considered the day on which the student moves into University housing. For students who live off-Grounds, the return to Grounds is considered the student’s first day of classes. Students who are already in Charlottesville/ Albemarle should order their kit, self-test, and return the kit following the vendor’s instructions as soon as possible. They do not need to wait until seven days prior to their first class.
- The test kits from the 3rd party vendor can only be sent to addresses in the United States. Thus, any student traveling from abroad will be tested during their 14-day self-quarantine following their arrival in the U.S. The International Studies Office is working with these students. For more details, please see the FAQs on Testing.
- The vendor cannot send test kits to students under the age of 18. Minors will receive separate instructions.
Let’s Get Checked will send your results to Student Health automatically, at the same time you can view your results in the online account you set up with Let’s Get Checked. Student Health and Wellness must receive your COVID-19 test results prior to your return to Grounds.
- If the student test is negative, the student will be automatically cleared to return to Grounds with the expectation that they will continue to self-isolate and rely on the CDC-recommended guidelines for physical distancing, use of face masks, regular hand washing, and limiting contact with others. Students should take the same precautions in their travel back to Grounds. These steps are crucial to keep members of the UVA community and our Charlottesville neighbors safe, and we ask that all students take responsibility for protecting our numerous faculty, staff, students, and neighbors who are at high risk of serious COVID-19 complications.
- If the student test is positive, the student will be asked to self-isolate at home and will not be automatically cleared to return to Grounds. Students who receive a positive test result should consult a local health provider right away. Per CDC recommendations, students should self-isolate for 10 days after the date of a positive test or for 10 days after the development of symptoms (whichever is longer), resolution of fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and improvement of symptoms. In order to return to Grounds (meaning in-person coursework and activities), students will be required to attest that all of the above criteria are met. Students will be cleared to return to Grounds upon completing this mandatory self-isolation. Students may attend classes virtually if their isolation period extends beyond the first day of classes. Please note that all positive tests will be reported to the local health department in the area where the test was performed in order to identify possible contacts who may be at risk for infection and may require quarantining. This contact tracing is not the student’s responsibility; it will be done by the relevant local health department according to standard procedures regarding contact tracing.
- Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 daysshould provide date-stamped proof of their test result to Student Health. In addition, per CDC guidance, anyone with a positive test result must self-isolate for 10 days after the date of the positive test or for 10 days after the development of symptoms and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications (whichever is longer). Students will be cleared by Student Health upon completion of this mandatory self-isolation. If the student previously completed their 10-day isolation, they should still complete the 14-day self-quarantine before returning to Grounds. For more details, please see the FAQs on Testing.
Getting tested elsewhere
- If you receive test results from another provider, Student Health and Wellness still must receive your results prior to your return to Grounds. Please upload your test result through the Student Health patient portal.
Beginning 14 days prior to returning to Grounds, we strongly recommend that students self-quarantine. This means the student should stay home, separate from others outside the home, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department. This is a protective measure that limits exposure to individuals who may be infected with COVID-19 and can transmit the virus. We recognize that this may pose challenges, but it is a highly effective measure to limit the spread of virus to Grounds once school restarts.
- If a student is unable to self-quarantine, it is essential that the student minimize contact with others during this 14-day period. Specifically, the student should not attend any large social events or interact with more than a few people (3-5) at a time. Students should be vigilant in physical distancing (maintaining at least a 6-foot distance between the student and others), using a face covering, washing hands frequently, refraining from touching their face (especially eyes) without washing hands first.
- If you have been living abroad, regardless of your nationality, you are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the U.S. The International Studies Office is working with these students. For more details, please see the FAQs on Testing.
Ongoing Public Health and Safety Measures for all UVA Community members
Public Health Measures
The University will impose 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 will have to 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, will 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 will be 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:
- Daily Health Check. All students, faculty, and staff planning to be on Grounds will complete a daily check on symptoms related to COVID-19 through the HOOS Health Check app or by email. The HOOS Health Check app 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 testing. Instructions for downloading HOOS® Health Check will be provided in mid-August.
- Personal Protective Equipment The University will provide two cloth face coverings for each employee in the Academic division. For students, the University will provide two cloth face coverings, two 2-ounce containers of hand sanitizer and a touch-tool, which is meant to assist in tasks such as opening doors and punching keypads, hands free. If preferred, employees and students may wear their own face coverings that meet policy standards.
- Hand Sanitizer. The University will place 2,600 free-standing hand sanitizer stands in high-traffic common areas, plus an additional 1,000 one-gallon containers in spaces that don’t receive the free-standing units. The University has also purchased a supply of sanitizing wipes for use on surfaces such as desks and chairs and disposable face coverings that can be offered to students, faculty, staff, and others who might arrive without one.
- Cleaning and Disinfecting. UVA Facilities Management has trained custodial staff on new enhanced cleaning protocols based on industry standards and best practice guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, they are adjusting custodial shifts to align with building use. Since it is not possible for the housekeeping staff to clean each classroom between uses, faculty members and students will be asked to wipe down podiums, surfaces, desks, chairs, and tabletops before and after use with disinfecting supplies stocked in the room.
- Signage/Barriers. Facilities Management is installing signs across Grounds and repositioning furnishings and fixtures as needed to promote distancing. They are also installing physical barriers at public service locations.
- University Transit Services. UTS passengers can expect the following changes:
- Passengers and drivers are required to wear a face covering.
- Bus loading capacity has been reduced from 50 to 20.
- Service hours have been reduced to allow for enhanced cleaning/sanitation of the transit fleet midday and after hours.
- Dining Services. Dining halls will be open for those students with a meal plan, but& dine-in options will be limited in all dining halls and retail dining facilities. Dining halls and retail dining locations will reduce seating capacity by 50 percent in accordance with Governor Northam’s Executive Order 63, maintain counts at entrances and exits to control occupancy, and add outside locations where possible for food pick-up. Buffet style service will be eliminated. Most retail dining locations are scheduled to be open in the fall and will be available to students, faculty, and staff with expanded options for take-out and mobile ordering. Please visit the Dining Services website for up-to-date information.
Once students and employees return to Grounds, testing for COVID-19 will occur in a number of ways to help maintain the safety of the UVA community and the surrounding Charlottesville area. Please note that this guidance is subject to change as public health conditions evolve.
- Symptomatic Testing. Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 will be asked to get tested immediately as well as to self-isolate while the test result is pending. Students should contact Student Health at 434-924-5362 to schedule a test. Employees should contact Employee Health at 434-924-2013 to schedule a test.
- Outbreak Testing. If there are outbreaks of cases in particular areas of Grounds, we will ask those who have spent time in these areas to be tested because they will have been at higher risk for contracting COVID-19.
- Ongoing Grounds surveillance: We are considering several possible strategies to have an early signal of possible COVID-19 outbreaks. We are investigating the testing of wastewater in certain University building or residences, and we are considering point prevalence surveys, which is the practice of testing all individuals in a designated area or facility (such as a densely populated residence), regardless of symptoms.
- Asymptomatic Testing Students, faculty, staff, and contract employees who do not exhibit symptoms but would like to be voluntarily tested will have the option to do so no more than once every 60 days. These tests will need to be scheduled as a limited number of testing slots will be allocated each day based on available lab capacity and resources.
Case Management and Containment
- Contact Tracing. If a member of the UVA community (students, faculty, or staff) is identified through contact tracing as having had close contact with an infected individual, they will be referred for testing by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) or their health care provider. UVA will be partner with VDH to help facilitate the referrals and the testing. It is important that everyone in the UVA community engages with UVA and VDH teams during case investigation and contact tracing so that we can have the maximum opportunity to limit the further spread of the virus.
- Isolation and Quarantine.
- Students. UVA has plans to isolate students living on Grounds who test positive for the virus, and to quarantine students living on Grounds who have been exposed to someone with a positive diagnosis of COVID-19. Students living off-Grounds will be expected to quarantine or isolate at their off-Grounds housing. Students who can safely travel home to isolate or quarantine will be encouraged to do so. The local health department will determine the required length of time needed for isolation or quarantine and will monitor the health of individuals who are being isolated or quarantined.
- Employees. Employees will need to isolate if they test positive for the virus, and to quarantine if they have been exposed. The health department will determine the required length of time needed for isolation or quarantine and will monitor the health of individuals who are being isolated or quarantined.
- Current guidance from the Virginia Department of Health on isolation and quarantine.
- The UVA Health System, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health and Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, has been providing ad hoc on-site testing in the community as the need arises. Sites are identified by community members and are also selected based on emerging patterns of COVID-19 positive cases.