Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Due to the increasing case count of COVID-19 across the Commonwealth and the nation, UVA Wise has made the difficult decision to modify our reopening plans. Despite the change in plan, we look forward to an exciting, on-campus academic opening and we will continue to plan for a safe and productive year at UVA Wise.
The College has developed these plans in consultation with academic departments, Student Affairs, Athletics, Operations, UVA administration, UVA Health System, the Board of Visitors and the UVA Wise College Board, among others.
The details of the plan are as follows.
Classes will now begin on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. The revised start date will accommodate enhanced protocols for reopening, including student testing prior to the return to campus.
Due to the delayed start of classes, coursework and finals will now extend beyond the Thanksgiving holiday. After Thanksgiving, students will remain off-campus and will complete remaining coursework and finals online. The revised academic calendar will be announced and posted by the Provost’s Office.
Classes will be offered face-to-face and in online and hybrid formats.
On-campus, residential move-ins are suspended and will resume on Wednesday, August 19 in preparation for the start of classes on August 26. The Dean of Students will issue a communication soon regarding staggered and prescheduled housing move-ins. Any students with move-ins scheduled after today, Monday, August 3, 2020, should not travel to campus until further notice.
Convocation will occur on Tuesday, August 25, 2020.
Testing and Symptom Tracking
All UVA Wise students will receive at-home test kits prior to their return to campus.
Approximately 71 residential students are currently on campus. They will not be asked to return home. These students and some employees, approximately 175 in total, were tested for COVID-19 on campus today using kits courtesy of UVA Health System. Test results are expected this week.
Testing will allow the College to gauge infection rates to enable future decision-making.
Students with a positive test result will not be allowed to return to campus until 10 days post-diagnosis and 3 days after the cessation of symptoms without medication, whichever is longer.
Residential students who test positive will receive housing accommodations in Martha Randolph Hall in order to self-isolate. The College is currently identifying additional isolation and quarantine space, if needed.
Symptomatic employees and students, or those who have had contact with individuals with confirmed COVID-19 infections, can receive COVID-19 testing at the Health Clinic on campus. Please call ahead to make an appointment at 276-376-3475. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, walk-in appointments are not available.
Individuals who have had contact with someone with COVID-19 will also quarantine per the Virginia Department of Health guidelines.
It is important to note that a student’s or employee’s test results or their health status will not negatively impact one’s enrollment or employment at the College. We encourage open and frequent communication from students and employees so the College can be responsive.
The symptom tracker app is under development and is expected to be live and fully operational prior to the return to campus. All students and employees are expected to track symptoms completely and truthfully. All students and employees are expected to follow all guidance and instructions if symptoms are present.
UVA Wise is monitoring the following factors as the situation on the ground evolves.
Rate of infection on campus
Rate of infection in surrounding localities and counties in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky
Hospital intensive care capacity in the immediate service area
State and federal guidance for institutions of higher education
Sufficient testing resources on and off-campus
Sufficient quarantine and isolation spaces on campus for residential students
Sufficient contact tracing resources in place with the Virginia Department of Health
Any decision(s) pertaining to campus operations will be made with these factors in mind and in close consultation with the campus community and the Virginia Department of Health.
All major decisions regarding COVID-19 will be clearly communicated to campus employees and students via email, text, auto-call, and the College website (www.uvawise.edu/fall-2020).
Your safety and health are paramount in any and all decisions regarding College operations during these extraordinary times. Please continue to share your feedback, concerns, questions and suggestions with me and with the leadership in your areas. Together, we will ensure that UVA Wise is a safe and healthy community. Please take care and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Donna Price Henry, Ph.D.
University of Virginia’s College at Wise