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Time Sensitive: Requirements and Guidance prior to Graduating

May 5, 2021
To: 
2021 Graduates
From: 
Allen W. Groves, University Dean of Students

Dear Graduating Students:

I am writing you with several important reminders applicable to you as a graduating student.  Please take a few moments before classes end and exams begin to prepare for these requirements and to note upcoming changes.

PREVALENCE TESTING

Testing Prior to Finals Weekend.  Weekly testing remains mandatory for all students living or learning in the area, unless you are fully vaccinated or have had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 150 days.  If you are fully vaccinated and Student Health and Wellness has documentation of your COVID-19 vaccination record, you will receive an email confirming you are exempt from weekly testing.

Those returning to the area for Final Exercises also should arrange for testing before returning.  You can find commercial testing sites on the Virginia Department of Health website.

Prior to Finals Weekend, if you have been testing through UVA’s saliva testing program, you should plan to get tested on May 17, 18, or 19.  (See scheduling details below.)

Graduating students who test positive will be unable to join the procession or ceremony during their scheduled celebration time to ensure they do not contribute to a potential super-spreader event either here or after returning to their home communities.  All five Final Exercises ceremonies will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person.

Appointment changes.  If you need to change the day or time of your weekly appointment, please go to Time2Test.

Changes in Saliva Testing Schedule and Locations:  Due to Final Exercises for the classes of 2020 and 2021, the schedule for saliva testing will change in the following ways:

  • All sites will be closed Sunday, May 16. Beginning Thursday, May 20 at noon, all sites will be closed until Tuesday, May 25, at 8 a.m.
  • The Student Activities Building (SAB) will become a new testing site beginning May 10. On May 25, the SAB will be the University’s only saliva testing site. It will be closed on May 31 for Memorial Day.
  • For complete schedule details, see the Be Safe website.

Testing after graduation.  If you will be remaining in Charlottesville and coming onto Grounds after graduation and you are subject to testing (i.e., you are not fully vaccinated or you have not had a positive COVID test in the past 150 days) you should continue to participate, on your honor, in weekly testing.

Please note an important change:  If you will be in Charlottesville this summer but not living, learning, working, or otherwise engaged in activities on Grounds, you DO NOT need to participate in weekly prevalence testing.

FINALS WEEKEND

Pre-Procession Event with Ms. Kathy (and Breakfast/Lunch Pickup).  Before lining up at the Rotunda for your procession to Scott Stadium, be sure to stop by 1515 on the Corner to say goodbye to Ms. Kathy and pick up a free breakfast or lunch burrito and beverage.  A tradition for several years now prior to walking the Lawn, this informal event gives graduates some quick nourishment for the day and provides them with a chance to receive well-wishes from Ms. Kathy.

Hours for the event at 1515 are:

  • Friday, May 21
    • 6 – 8 a.m.
    • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 22
    • 6 – 8 a.m.
    • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 23 (Ms. Kathy will be unable to attend)
    • 6 – 8 a.m.

Complete details about the weekend are available on the Finals 2021 website.

VACCINATIONS

All students are encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccination.  It is one of the best means of minimizing the spread of infection, and protecting your health and the health of others.

Prior to leaving the University, please be sure your HealthyHoos portal reflects your vaccination status.  You will find instructions below for uploading your vaccine documentation.

Appointments in Charlottesville:  If you have not had an opportunity to schedule a first-dose appointment or need to reschedule one, you can do so through the UVA COVID Vaccine website or by calling 434-297-4829 (4VAX) Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Preparation for Your Vaccine:  Whether receiving your first or second dose of the vaccine, UVA Health recommends you prepare in the following ways:

  • Be sure you are well-hydrated.
  • Eat before your visit to the vaccine clinic.
  • Bring a legal photo ID that includes your address and date of birth.
  • Bring your vaccine card if you have received your first dose.

Transportation to UVA Health/Seminole Square Location:  To accommodate students who received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks ago through UVA Health at the Seminole Square location in Charlottesville, UTS buses will be running this weekend.  More details:

  • UTS buses will run Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • As before, pickup and return will take place at the East Gate to Scott Stadium on Whitehead Road.  The destination sign on the buses will say “Special.”
  • Please arrive 30 minutes before the time of your scheduled vaccine appointment.
  • Multiple buses will be running at regular intervals, approximately every 10-15 minutes.  To facilitate physical distancing at the bus stop, please do not arrive too far in advance.

Another transportation option is Charlottesville Area Transit’s Route 7 bus, which goes to Seminole Square.

Second Doses at Locations Outside Charlottesville:  If you have received your first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine in one location but need to get your second dose in a different location, you can search for an appointment using VaccineFinder.org.

If finding a second-dose appointment through VaccineFinder proves difficult, you can 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.

Recording Your Completed COVID-19 Vaccination.  If you received your COVID-19 vaccine through UVA Health, including the UVA Health Student Vaccine Clinic at Seminole Square, Student Health and Wellness (SHW) will be automatically notified.  If you received your vaccine from another provider, please upload your completed vaccine documentation to the HealthyHoos portal administered by SHW:

  • Choose “COVID-19 Vaccine Immunization Information” for the document you are uploading.
  • Take a photo of your COVID-19 vaccine card and complete the upload process as instructed.

Please note: You are considered “fully vaccinated” 14 days after your final dose, you upload your documentation, and you receive confirmation (on day 15) from Student Health and Wellness.

SERVICES AT STUDENT HEALTH & WELLNESS

Graduating students may continue to use the services of Student Health and Wellness through May 30.  Beginning May 17, SHW will close a half-hour earlier at 4:30 p.m., and the UVA Pharmacy located in the Elson Student Health Center will close for the summer. 

TRAVEL PREPARATION – PLAN AHEAD

Air Travel:  Please be mindful of any requirements you may need to meet as you leave the Charlottesville area, especially if you are traveling by air.  Many airlines, for example, require a COVID test within 72 hours of travel.  This means you will need to carefully time when your test is done.  Traveling on Monday is not recommended if you are using saliva testing because Friday saliva test results will not be available within 72 hours of your flight.  If saliva testing does not fit your travel schedule, you can find commercial testing sites on the Virginia Department of Health website.

Please see the related infographic for additional travel guidance, including securing a letter of recovery or proof of vaccination.

Thank you for the many ways you have contributed to the success of this very challenging year, and best wishes as you finish up your time at UVA.  I hope to see you at Final Exercises the weekend of May 21-23.

Sincerely,

Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students