Whatever your plans for the upcoming Winter Break, I wish each of you a healthy, safe, and happy respite from your studies.
Health and safety remain important. As your thoughts turn to the holidays and some downtime, please take a moment to read and follow the below guidance as it applies to you.
COVID-19 Booster Shots
With COVID cases on the rise nationally and internationally, the University is urging everyone who is over 16 and appropriately past the timing of their primary vaccination to get a booster shot as soon as possible. Check with your local pharmacy or health department, many of whom will have supplies of the booster. If you decide to get your booster in Charlottesville, local pharmacies and the Blue Ridge Health District are all offering appointments. Learn more about booster shots from the CDC’s website.
In light of rising cases and the omicron variant, University leaders and public health experts are actively considering requiring the booster for UVA community members for the spring semester. We will update you as soon as a decision is made.
If you do get a booster, please upload your vaccination information into the HealthyHoos patient portal (click "Upload," and select "COVID-19 Vaccine Immunization Information").
Be SAFE Saliva Testing to Reopen Jan. 3
The University’s Be SAFE saliva testing site is now closed for the semester. On Jan. 3, a new site will open on the lower level of Newcomb Hall (LL43). More information.
Before Leaving the Area
Holiday periods and times when the Grounds and surrounding area are not as populated can mean an increase in thefts and break-ins. Remember to:
- Take valuables with you if you leave.
- Lock the doors and windows of your residence, and pull the curtains or shades.
- Lock or otherwise properly secure your scooter and park it in a designated and well-lit area. Do not store gas-powered vehicles inside.
- If your car will remain in Charlottesville, lock it and do not leave valuables inside.
- Stop your mail if you receive direct mail delivery from the United States Postal Service.
Staying in Charlottesville?
If you are staying in Charlottesville over Winter Break or plan to come back before the start of classes in January, check out the comprehensive webpage summarizing hours for dining, transportation, student centers, the libraries, and more. Please remember, the University’s Academic Division will be closed from Friday, Dec. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 2.
Reminders from Student Health and Wellness
Hours: Student Health and Wellness will be closed Saturday, December 18 – Sunday, January 2 for Winter Break. However, students should be aware of the following health-related information:
TimelyCare: Virtual Mental Health Support Over Break: TimelyCare providers offer free mental health support via phone or secure video visits. Students still have access to virtual care even when classes aren’t in session and regardless of where they are traveling in the U.S. for the holidays. Visit with a mental health provider 24/7/365, and attend yoga and meditation sessions while on winter break. Learn more and download the app at timelycare.com/uva.
Flu Shots: It’s not too late to get your flu shot, and you should ideally get it before travelling home for Winter Break to help protect yourself, friends, and loved ones who might be at higher risk (e.g., young children, grandparents.) The flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the flu and lessen the severity of illness if you still get the flu after being vaccinated. Find a nearby flu shot location. Healthy preventative habits remain ever-important:
- Frequent hand-washing,
- Staying home if you are sick,
- Proactive mask-wearing, and
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Best wishes for an enjoyable Winter Break. Thank you for all you did, especially health-wise, to make this a successful semester.
Julie I. Caruccio
Interim Dean of Students