The University anticipates issuing additional guidance regarding its operations. Please visit this site frequently for updates.
The University of Virginia is closely monitoring the emergence of COVID-19, and consulting with experts at UVA Health, the Virginia Department of Health, the CDC and other partners. The top priority is the safety of the members of the University community, and UVA will make decisions based on public health guidance and current conditions here and elsewhere. This page will be updated regularly and highlight the latest statements or guidance from the University.
For information regarding funds received by UVA under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, please visit the CARES Act page for details.
Update on Planning for Fall Semester
To the University Community,
With the semester over, the degrees awarded, and summer break officially underway, we want to thank all of you for helping us bring this difficult, memorable, and truly extraordinary year to a close. It was only possible due to your hard work and resilience under incredibly challenging circumstances, so please accept our deepest thanks.
Beyond thanking all of you, the purpose of this email is to update you on the topic that is foremost on all of our minds: planning for the fall. We are still planning to announce our final framework for the fall in mid-June, but we would like to take this opportunity to share some of our planning assumptions, in part to seek your feedback.
First, a brief note about the process to date. We have been guided by our desire to offer an exceptional experience for our students and, at the same time, to safeguard the health and safety of the UVA and Charlottesville community. Just over a month ago, we created a committee charged with identifying – and proposing answers to – the major questions needed to determine when and how we can safely welcome students to Grounds in the fall. The committee is chaired by our provost, Liz Magill, and includes faculty, staff, students, and a member of the Board of Visitors. We recently added some new members to the committee, including Ellen Bassett, the outgoing chair of the Faculty Senate and faculty representative to the Board of Visitors for next year; Kevin McDonald, our vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion; and Tre Tennyson, chair of the Graduate and Professional School Council.
The committee’s work has been focused on several areas: 1) Determining the date by which we must make a decision about the fall semester; 2) Identifying the safest date on which we could resume classes on Grounds and what conditions might apply; 3) Thinking about alternative academic calendars and options for classes; 4) Looking at ways to support faculty in creating an amazing online experience; and 5) Considering the impact of these decisions on the University’s finances and operations.
Around each of these topics, committee members have fanned out across the University and in the community to seek input and expertise. We have asked many to participate in this work – faculty, staff, students, University leaders, public health experts, and members of the Charlottesville community. We have also been in close contact with our counterparts at colleges and universities in Virginia and across the country. In order to bring as many student voices into the process as possible, the committee has conducted several surveys, including separate surveys of undergraduate and graduate and professional students. Seventy-three percent of undergraduate students responded to the survey. With the Faculty Senate, we held a virtual town hall on Wednesday, May 27th, and we launched a faculty survey earlier this week. We plan to conduct staff town halls, polls, and surveys as well.
The committee’s work is not yet finished, and, as mentioned, we will announce a framework for next academic year in mid-June. We nonetheless want to share our current thinking, both in the interest of transparency and in the hope of continuing to draw on the collective wisdom of our community.
To begin, our current plans are to start the fall semester as planned, with undergraduate courses starting on Tuesday, August 25th (start dates for graduate programs are available here). Assuming state and federal public health guidelines allow, we are planning to have students back on Grounds and to hold in-person classes this fall. We are still trying to determine how many students we can have safely back on Grounds and living in dorms, and how many in-person classes we can host, given social distancing restrictions.
What we do know for sure is that larger classes will remain online all semester, as will classes taught by faculty who have health concerns. Classes that are offered in-person, with the exception of some practicums, will also be available remotely, since some students will not be able to return to Grounds. Most students will have the option to remain home in the fall and participate in classes remotely. Most students will also have options to defer or take a gap year, as always.
To increase student options even more, and to make sure that all undergraduate students can earn a full year’s worth of credits no matter how they start, we are looking into expanding our January Term course offerings. This will allow students a chance to take a lighter load of classes in the fall, whether in person or online. We are also considering additional ways to allow students to stretch their classes across a longer period of time than the traditional academic calendar. More details will be forthcoming, including from programs and professional and graduate schools that may have unique requirements and different constraints.
While the fall semester will start on time, we are planning to finish in-person instruction by Thanksgiving. Students will not return until the new year, which will minimize the inevitable risk associated with travel back and forth to Charlottesville. We are still determining if we can host exams before Thanksgiving or whether they will be offered remotely.
To keep students, faculty, staff, and members of our community safe, we are developing protocols for testing, tracing, and isolating anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, as well as identifying spaces to quarantine on-Grounds residents exposed to those who have contracted COVID-19. We are also acquiring personal protective equipment – including masks – for students, faculty, and staff. And we are developing social distancing guidelines, as well as norms and rules around these guidelines. This includes making plans for managing dining halls, libraries, and recreational facilities, as well as for ramping up scholarship and research – which we are preparing to do now.
This fall will not be a normal fall, even with some students back on Grounds and some classes being held in person. There inevitably will be greater risk in having students return, and we will be placing a good deal of trust in our students to look out for the safety and well-being not just of each other, but of our faculty, staff, and community members. In some ways, it would be easier simply to be online all fall, or perhaps all year if the risk presented by the virus is not materially different in January than it is in August. But there are risks to that route as well, including obvious financial risks, but also less obvious but equally important educational and health risks.
We also believe we should do our best to be open for students, for several reasons. One of UVA’s greatest strengths is our world-class residential learning experience – something that, as all of you know by now, cannot be fully replicated online. We also appreciate that learning remotely is much harder for some students than others, given different living arrangements, family circumstances, and family obligations. There is also no end in reasonable sight for this virus, which makes it even more imperative that we do our best to adapt.
Finally, we emphasize that these are our current planning assumptions and that we are still in a fairly rapidly evolving situation. We will continue to adapt to new information, as we must in a pandemic of this nature. We also realize that no decision we ultimately make will be universally popular. Some will think UVA is moving too quickly or aggressively, while others will think we’re being too slow or cautious. What we can promise you is that we are working night and day to rely on the best information we have to make the best choices we can – not only for the health of UVA and our community, but for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of going to college. We are still in this together, and we are all going to need to draw on the collective creativity, flexibility, patience, and selflessness that we saw on full display this spring. It really was UVA at its very best, and we are going to have to be even better this fall.
Thank you, and we hope you and your families stay safe and well. We’ll be in touch with more information in mid-June.
K. Craig Kent
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
UVA Outlines Initial Response to Fiscal Impact of COVID-19
The University of Virginia today announced freezes in hiring and salaries as part of a set of policy adjustments implemented to address the deep financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on University operations.
In a message to University employees, President Jim Ryan, Provost Liz Magill, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs K. Craig Kent and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis said decisions made during the ongoing uncertainty are guided by UVA’s determination to maintain excellence in its core mission, and to work together to find creative solutions. The University also plans to share the burden of cost-cutting, rather than concentrating it on those who are most vulnerable. This includes maintaining UVA’s commitment to access and affordability and to meeting 100% of student financial need.
Having already suffered major financial losses in its Academic Division and UVA Health, the University expects more revenue shortfalls from all of its funding sources, including tuition, state funding, clinical care, research grants, endowment returns, and philanthropy. In response, the following policies have been adopted:
- Hiring freeze: UVA is pausing hiring for open faculty, staff and health system team member positions, unless an exception is approved by executive leadership.
- Salary freeze: There will be no merit increases for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
- Limiting capital projects: Only capital projects that are in design or construction and are fully funded will proceed.
- Expense reduction: All schools and units will cut or eliminate non-essential expenses.
- Senior leadership pay cuts: UVA’s executive leadership team will take a 10% salary reduction.
Ryan and his leadership team said the University will continue to review finances and operations and communicate additional steps that might be necessary, as well as the rationale behind them. UVA is committed to avoiding furloughs and layoffs for as long as possible, the message said, but also signaled that “the health system may have no choice but to turn to these steps sooner rather than later given the serious financial situation they are facing because of the significant disruption to clinical care.”
“If there were ever a time to be both great and good, this is surely it, and that is precisely what you have been as a community. As difficult as this period has been, it has also been a time filled with inspiring acts of generosity, ingenuity, and kindness,” the leaders said. “The challenges presented by this crisis are difficult to exaggerate. The pandemic has not simply made fulfilling our core mission more difficult. It also has had—and continues to have—serious financial consequences for the University.”
Ryan Announces Emergency Fund to Assist Contract Workers, UVA employees
President Jim Ryan announced the creation of a $2 million emergency assistance fund to support workers furloughed by our contractors and UVA employees, and also announced a $1 million contribution to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation.
The primary focus will be to help those who have been furloughed, but this fund will also be available for those still employed and facing unexpected costs.
We will also be providing assistance to furloughed contract workers who need help in applying for state and federal unemployment benefits, and we expect this fund to be a helpful bridge to those who are awaiting benefits. The fund will operational until June 1st, and reassessed at that point.
Details are expected later this week, including a timeline and process for accessing the funds. The University is also setting up a process for employees to donate directly to this fund.
UVA’s $1 million contribution to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation will support their efforts to stabilize households during this pandemic. For anyone who needs immediate assistance, please call their Community Resource Helpline at 434-234-4490.
President Jim Ryan provided an update to the University Community regarding the University’s operational and academic changes on March 17. See the full message and all of UVA’s coronavirus-related messages.
Classes will remain online throughout the semester.
- It is unlikely that this virus will have abated by the end of April.
- In light of the need for faculty, staff, and students to make plans, we are making the decision now—rather than waiting until April 5—to not hold any classes on Grounds this semester.
- For students who do not have the technology needed to complete their classes online, please visit our technology support fund page and read the instructions and guidelines completely.
- We are in active discussions about what changes we might make to our normal grading system this semester. We will be back in touch soon once we have made a decision.
Final Exercises will not proceed as planned.
- In light of the evidence about the likely progression of the virus over the next couple of months, and when it will peak, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Final Exercises as currently planned.
- A team is already focused on developing creative alternatives to mark this important occasion, and we will communicate updates as we have them.
All events on Grounds are cancelled, no matter the size, until at least June 30.
- The White House and the Governor of Virginia have suggested gatherings of no more than 10 people.
- Rather than continue to chase the ever-shrinking size limitations, we want to be clear that all events should be cancelled this semester.
- These restrictions include events that are not University-sponsored but are planned to occur on Grounds, including conferences, symposia, and social gatherings.
- This does not preclude small internal meetings, where social distancing should be the touchstone.
Research will continue.
- Like our teaching mission, we are committed to continuing our research mission while making sure we take steps to keep members of our community safe.
- We will provide guidance on this by mid-day tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18.
GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYEES
All faculty and staff who can work remotely should be told to do so.
- We are mandating telecommuting for all faculty and staff except those who must report in person to carry out key functions for their units or schools.
- The latter includes, among others, faculty who need to come to their classrooms or offices to teach online and UVA Health faculty and staff who need to care for patients and support patient services.
- School leaders, unit supervisors, and managers have the authority to identify those who must report and those who can work remotely and should share direct guidance with their faculty and staff.
- We understand that some staff may need to consult with their managers to better understand how to conduct their work under the changed circumstances, and some may need to return to Grounds to collect items necessary to work remotely.
- We expect these plans to be fully implemented no later than the end of the day, Friday, March 20.
Employee compensation and benefits.
- We are determined to ensure that the modifications to our operations caused by the coronavirus will not impact our existing commitments to compensate and continue existing benefits for UVA employees, whether part-time or full-time.
- We will therefore honor all existing commitments for the foreseeable future.
- There may come a point where we need to reassess in light of the length of time of the crisis or significantly changed circumstances, but our hope and plan is to weather this crisis together.
- We have contracts with a wide range of contractors across the University, which present a variety of situations.
- We are in active discussions with our contractors about how those employees may be re-deployed in the weeks and months ahead.
- Students who are teaching assistants or working on research will continue to be paid if they continue their work.
- Student employees who are able to complete their duties remotely can do so with the approval of their supervisor.
- Students should submit time sheets and be paid at their normal hourly wage.
- Students in the Federal Work Study program (FWS) will continue to be paid an average of their current wages bi-weekly through the end of the semester.
- Students on FWS who will continue to work remotely should submit time sheets and be paid at their normal hourly wage.
- For the safety of students and the others with whom they may come into contact, non-FWS student employees who cannot work remotely will not be eligible to continue working while the University’s operating schedule is modified due to COVID-19.
- We understand that this will cause some students financial hardship, and we will do whatever we can to help. If you are in need of financial support, please connect with your supervisor who has received a list of emergency financial resources available to displaced student employees.
MODIFICATIONS TO SERVICES
On-Grounds Housing Will Be Further Restricted.
- Only students who have no other option will be permitted to remain on-Grounds.
- As a reminder, students who are returning solely to collect some of their belongings still have until Wednesday, March 18 at noon to do so.
- If you are not able to collect your belongings before then, please do not return to Grounds until you hear from us with guidance, which will be coming soon. We will provide details about how students will be able to gather all of their belongings.
- Any students who stayed in on-Grounds Housing following our initial request to return home must make plans to leave by Friday, March 20 unless they meet one of the following criteria: 1) international students who are unable to secure travel to return home; 2) persons for whom their on-Grounds residence is their only home (including graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff for whom their on-Grounds residence is their permanent address); or 3) students for whom traveling home would present a severe health or safety risk.
- Housing & Residence Life will contact students who completed the original survey to remain on Grounds, and work with them to transition back home.
- Students currently receiving financial aid with questions related to financial resources for departing Grounds should contact UVA Student Financial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434.982.6000.
- We are urging undergraduate and graduate students who live off-grounds to follow these guidelines as well.
- Effective immediately, Observatory Hill Dining Hall will serve as the only major dining facility in service, apart from those necessary to support UVA Health.
- Those using O-Hill can obtain their meals there but will not be able to eat inside the facility.
- Please visit the University’s Dining website for hours of operation and real-time updates.
- Wherever possible, we encourage students who have kitchens in their place of residence to prepare their own meals.
Credits or Refunds for Housing and Dining
- We will provide pro-rated credits to student accounts for on-Grounds housing and UVA dining contracts.
- We will send additional information on the mechanics of this process in a later communication, but students will have the ability to either request a refund or allow the credit to remain on their student account to apply to future bills.
- As long as students remain enrolled through the end of the spring semester, financial aid will not be impacted.
We are making a number of modifications to various services.
- Dining services, as described above, will be limited to take out/grab and go only.
- All libraries will be closed, except to faculty and staff who need to use them for classes or clinical care.
- Student activity spaces, like those in Newcomb Hall, 1515, and the Student Activities Building, will be closed.
- All gyms and fitness facilities on Grounds will be closed.
- University venues such as the museums, the McCormick Observatory, and the Rotunda will be closed to the public.
- Bus service will be reduced.
More details will be forthcoming with respect to all of these topics and will be posted on the University’s coronavirus website.
The University of Virginia sent out the email below to the University community. We will be continuously updating this information as we learn more.
A member of the University community has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). UVA health officials and administrators are working closely with the Virginia Department of Health, which is conducting a thorough investigation of potential exposures.
The positive test result is considered presumptive, pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials are following protocols to isolate this patient.
This is a preliminary notification as required by the federal Clery Act. The University will send a more detailed message via email shortly.
We will continue to provide updates and information at www.virginia.edu/coronavirus. Check back frequently for new information. If you have additional questions, call the UVA COVID-19 Response Line: 877-685-4836 (domestic callers) or 202-800-2408 (international callers).
How can I help protect myself?
Preventative steps recommended by the CDC, Virginia Department of Health and UVA Student Health and Wellness can be found at www.virginia.edu/coronavirus/health-precautions.
What if I suspect I have coronavirus?
If you think you may have been exposed to coronavirus and have these flu-like symptoms (fever, shortness of breath or a cough), please call ahead before visiting a doctor’s office or emergency department. This will enable your care providers to determine the best way for you to receive care.
Students with symptoms: Please contact your medical provider or the Department of Student Health & Wellness at 434-982-3915 (call 434-297-4261 after hours).
Faculty and staff with symptoms: Please contact your medical provider.
Provost Liz Magill provided an update to the University Community regarding the University’s operational and academic changes on March 12. See the full message and all of UVA’s coronavirus-related messages.
We will be making a decision about Final Exercises by April 15th.
- We know this is top of mind for many of you, especially graduating fourth years, and are working as fast as we can to give you some clarity – understanding that we don’t yet know what the situation will look like in May.
Events at John Paul Jones Arena are postponed through the weekend.
- Please visit johnpauljonesarena.com for the latest on each event. Ticket holders will be notified through Ticketmaster.
- We will continue to work with performers and others involved in events scheduled to take place at John Paul Jones arena to evaluate additional upcoming events.
The ACC has suspended the Spring Athletics season.
- Earlier today, the ACC announced that they have suspended all athletic related activities. This means that all Spring sports at UVA are canceled.
- Fans who have already purchased tickets may contact the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office by phone at 800-542-8821 or by email at email@example.com.
We are looking into offsetting dining and housing costs for students.
- We have set up a Financial Resource Working Group that is looking into, among other things, offsetting dining and housing costs for students. More details will follow soon.
- We also have a Student Life and Leadership fund, which is a rainy day fund distributed by the Student Affairs Office for students with unexpected expenses.
Students who are part of the Federal Work Study program will continue to be paid even if they are not able to work.
- This flexibility applies to students who started classes for the Spring 2020 term and earned FWS wages prior to the University moving to virtual instruction. It will remain in effect as long as virtual instruction remains in place.
If we resume in-person classes before the end of the semester, we will make sure any student who has gone home and cannot return to Grounds is able to complete the term.
Early this morning, the University suspended all of its current study-abroad programs, and encouraged all UVA students to return to the United States by this weekend. The International Studies Office contacted participants in these programs individually.
Below are more specific updates for faculty, staff, and graduate students working on Grounds:
The University is open and operating.
- Given normal operations, faculty and staff should continue to report to work as usual (you can find more detail on our human resources policies below).
- We will begin scaling back some services, like dining and bus service, but will still meet the needs of employees and the limited number of students who will be remaining on Grounds. Any changes in these services will be posted on the Operations Status Board, and details will be available on departmental websites.
- Libraries will remain open from 8am to 5pm daily, with the possible exception of weekends. Some locations that depend heavily on student workers may close.
- We are monitoring this rapidly evolving situation closely. A cross-university team, including medical professionals, meets daily. If any modification to the University’s operating schedule becomes necessary, we will let you know immediately.
Human Resources: All faculty and staff should continue reporting to work, but employees will be eligible for a new leave benefit.
- Faculty and staff should plan to report to work as usual. However, when possible, we do encourage managers to consider options for staff and faculty to work from home. You can find answers to questions about working remotely here.
- If you have an underlying health condition that necessitates working from home, please talk to your manager, department chair, or dean. They, in turn, are encouraged to be flexible if an employee has a compromised health situation or is caring for someone who does.
- As of today, all employees, including wage and temporary employees, are eligible for up to two weeks of leave if they have been impacted by the virus. This includes employees in both the Academic Division and Medical Center.
- This leave is available to employees who have been directed to self-quarantine by a qualified health care provider, have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or have an immediate family member who diagnosed with the disease. For more details on this new policy, contact the HR Solution Center at AskHR@virginia.edu or 434-243-3344.
Teaching continuity: We are working to support faculty as classes move online.
- We have an all-hands-on-deck approach to bringing our teaching online. Below are updates on some of the key developments from the cross-university team that is working on this.
- We sent out a survey to faculty and instructors yesterday to determine the support needed to move classes online and we have a plan in place to provide support – either centrally or through schools. If you received the survey and have not responded, please respond immediately. The responses to the survey will be critical to understanding the needs and responding to them.
- You can find general information on teaching continuity here. More specific answers about academic instruction related to yesterday’s announcement can be found here.
- We are working to identify and support any students who might have connectivity or other assistance needs in accessing online instruction. As a reminder, while online classes will begin on March 19th, there will be no in-person classes between now and March 19th. That is, we are taking a pause in classes. Given that this is only 3 days (similar to snow days in the past), we are confident that we will complete the term with the teaching days available.
Research continuity: We have plans in place to ensure research can continue.
- Faculty, staff, and postdocs engaged in research are permitted to continue that research. Principle Investigators can designate some of their laboratory staff and postdocs as essential to the continuity of their research.
- Graduate students whose research takes place in the University’s labs will continue to have access to those facilities in consultation with their faculty advisors. Graduate students with appointments as research assistants should be in touch with their faculty advisors to learn about any changes to the activities of their research group.
- We do not know how disruptive this virus will be and encourage anyone conducting research to begin planning for what to do if that research gets disrupted. We have created a research continuity website with information on how services might be affected and recommendations for how to plan.
- All PIs with an active open research grant have been reached individually. There will be additional guidance for social and behavioral sciences, as well as for patient care-based clinical trials, shortly.
Event restrictions remain in place for the foreseeable future.
- To re-emphasize, President Ryan’s message yesterday announced two policies about University-sponsored events: 1) we have suspended all university-sponsored events that involve more than 100 people and; 2) for events that involve fewer than 100 people, we strongly recommend alternatives to having an in-person event and, if that is not possible, taking all necessary precautions to mitigate the risk of infection. We also ask that those hosting events that involve visitors traveling to Grounds, of whatever size, consider alternatives or cancelling those events, depending on the risks involved.
- Deans, vice presidents, vice provosts, or unit heads (or their designees) will apply these rules. Any leader with questions about a specific event should direct those questions to the Office of Major Events at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Housing and Residence Life provided instructions for students on gathering belongings from dorms and what to do if a student must remain in Grounds housing.
Dean of Students Allen Groves advised students on changes to operations such as dining services, transportation, residence halls and more.
Guidance for faculty, graduate and professional students living on Grounds (with the exception of the Range).
University Will Move Classes Online Beginning March 19
President Ryan provided an update regarding the University’s operational and academic changes on March 11.
- We will be moving our classes online. We will not be holding classes on Grounds for the foreseeable future, quite possibly through the end of the semester. We will reassess after April 5 at the earliest and periodically after that date.
- Online classes will begin Thursday, March 19.
- Students who are away on Spring Break are strongly encouraged to return home or to remain home if they are already there.
- Students on Grounds and in Charlottesville are strongly encouraged to return home by this weekend.
- University events with more than 100 people are prohibited for the foreseeable future and should be postponed, cancelled, or offered virtually.
See the Current Students FAQ for more information. These will be updated regularly.
See the Faculty and Staff FAQ for more information. These will be updated regularly.
Useful Contacts and Resources
- For assistance with online instruction:
ITS Help Desk: 434-924-HELP (434-924-4357)
Live Chat available via ITS Help Desk
- For questions related to financial aid or partial refunds for housing and dining:
email@example.com or 434-982-6000
- For the Human Resources Solution Center:
AskHR@virginia.edu or 434-243-3344
- For questions related to On-Grounds Housing and personal belongings:
- For general questions from/for students:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-924-7133
- For Student Counseling:
434-243-5150 (available 24/7)