In This Email:
- Important Requirements for Students for the Spring Semester
- Spring Pre-Arrival Testing for Students
- Weekly Prevalence Testing Requirements for Students
- Updated Health and Safety Guidance
The beginning of the spring academic term is just around the corner and we want to make sure you are familiar with the University’s plans for a safe and successful Spring 2021.
First, we are monitoring the progression of the virus in the country, the Commonwealth, and this region closely. As of now, we are still on track to welcome students back in-person in the spring. If conditions demand a change to our plans, we will notify you by Jan. 15.
Just like in the fall, students have a choice to come to the Charlottesville area this semester or to study remotely. All in-person students will be subject to requirements around testing, signing an agreement, and complying with University policy, as students were last semester.
Our testing capacity is greater, so we will test all students once per week. Testing will be mandatory for those living on-Grounds and off-Grounds. Additionally, we are changing the way we ensure compliance with testing requirements. Finally, in this update, we offer guidance for students who have previously contracted the virus.
Building on the success of last semester will require the same level of vigilance and commitment to the safety of the people around us. Fortunately, we now have the benefit of knowing that a plan like the one below can work if we stick together and do the right things for each other and for this community. We hope you are having a safe and restful winter break and we look forward to another successful semester.
Chief Operating Officer
Chair, Department of Medicine
Important Requirements Before Spring Semester
All students living or learning on-Grounds, in Charlottesville or Albemarle, or attending in-person University programs regardless of location during spring semester will be required to complete three important steps, similar to the process this fall:
- Taking and presenting a valid COVID-19 PCR test to the University.
- Watching a video on University health and safety protocols.
- Signing an agreement to abide by University policies designed to limit the spread.
- In addition, students must also update their local mailing address.
Students will complete this process in the SIS portal and should plan to do so just prior to their arrival. Students already in the Charlottesville area should complete the process in early January.
Spring Pre-Arrival Testing for Students
All students who plan to live on Grounds or in Charlottesville or Albemarle County this spring (January-May 2021) will be required to take a viral PCR COVID-19 test and ensure the results are reported to the University prior to return (or if already in the area, see instructions on the pre-arrival testing page).
- The University has contracted with Let’s Get Checked (LGC) to provide self-administered, mail-in test kits to students. Please go to the UVA portal on the LGC website. You may only order for yourself, and only through this portal. LGC kits are non-transferrable. You should order your test kit as soon as possible so that you have it on hand to test at the appropriate time. Sign in to the LGC account you created back in the summer for pre-arrival testing. If you do not have an LGC account, create one using your primary virginia.edu email address. Please make sure you update your shipping address if needed.
- Students should also take extra precautions to minimize their exposure prior to submitting their test and returning to Charlottesville. Please see Schedule for Testing on the Return to Grounds website for further details on timing.
- If a student tests positive in the 10 days before their arrival to the local Charlottesville or Albemarle County area (whether through an LGC kit or another testing method), they will need to isolate at home and be cleared by their local health department before they can travel to Charlottesville or Albemarle County. They may begin their coursework online during this period.
- If you are a minor, are arriving from abroad, have tested positive since Oct. 6, 2020, or are enrolled in an executive-format program, please see special testing instructions on the Return to Grounds pre-arrival testing page.
- Students may submit a PCR test from another source, at their own cost, which should be uploaded to the HealthyHoos portal. Only viral PCR tests will be accepted. Antigen and antibody tests will not be accepted.
Weekly Prevalence Testing for Students
- Beginning on Jan. 11, 2021, all students living in Charlottesville or Albemarle County will be required to test for COVID-19 weekly through the University’s COVID-19 prevalence testing program. This includes graduate and professional students, as well as undergraduates.
- Beginning on Feb. 1, 2021 and continuing throughout the Spring 2021 semester, students will be required to test on a designated day each week. We will announce more details on this approach soon.
- Students will not be subject to disciplinary action for a positive test result or for any information disclosed during contact tracing. However, starting on Feb. 1, students who fail to comply with the University’s prevalence testing program will be subject to various sanctions such as denial of in-person and/or remote participation and access to University network, facilities, classes, programs, and activities. Students who fail to comply repeatedly will be subject to suspension.
- Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 previously will be exempt from prevalence testing requirements only during the 90 days following the day of their positive test result and must resume testing after that period.
Updated Health and Safety Guidance
- All students will be expected to adhere to University, local, and state public health guidelines around wearing a mask, physical distancing, limiting the size of gatherings, and prevalence testing requirements.
- Students who previously tested positive for COVID-19 will still be required to follow all guidelines, with the exception of the exemption period from prevalence testing for 90 days following their positive test. Students who test positive outside of the University’s testing program will be required to upload their test result.
- All students present in Charlottesville or Albemarle County will be held accountable for failures to comply with these policies, regardless of whether they come to Grounds regularly or have previously tested positive for the virus.