Archived communications

Archived communications that were distributed to the UVA Wise community regarding COVID-19.

March 18, 2020 – Message to Employees and Students
March 13, 2020 – Message to Employees
March 12, 2020 – Athletic Events Suspended for Remainder of Academic Year
March 12, 2020 – Message to Employees and Students
March 11, 2020 – Message to Students
March 11, 2020 – Message to Employees and Students
March 9, 2020 – Message to Employees
March 4, 2020 – Message to Employees and Students
February 27, 2020 – Message to Employees
February 27, 2020 – Message to Students
February 10, 2020 – Message to Employees and Students
January 30, 2020 – Message to Employees and Students
January 24, 2020 – Message to Employees and Students



March 18, 2020
UVA Wise Important Updates and Changes Regarding COVID-19

Dear UVA Wise Students, Faculty and Staff:

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made critical decisions regarding the operations of the UVA Wise campus community. This unprecedented and very rapidly changing situation requires taking some significant, additional steps. Please understand it is our hope that the action we are taking, beginning today, will help prevent the spread of this virus and assist with the efforts to ensure that the healthcare teams in our region are not overburdened.

Today, we are announcing the following changes:

  • Starting Monday, March 23, Classes will move online and continue virtually for the rest of the spring semester
  • Commencement, set for May 9, will be postponed until a later date
  • All events on campus are cancelled until at least May 15
  • Students who receive federal work study will continue to be paid
  • Modifications will be made to on campus housing and dining
  • Credits for housing and dining will be prorated
  • All employees who can telecommute must do so now with supervisor input

Classes will remain virtual. We have decided to not hold any in-person classes on campus for the remainder of the semester because of the uncertainty of the situation. For students who do not have Internet access needed to complete their classes online, please contact the IT Department at oit@uvawise.edu.

All events of any size on campus are cancelled until at least May 15.  These restrictions include events that are not sponsored by UVA Wise, including conferences, concerts, and social gatherings.

Student Employees.  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 will 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 will 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 College’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.

Campus Housing Will Be Further Restricted.  As our resources and on-site staffing levels diminish, we will only be able to provide housing for a very limited number of residents. Only students who have no other option will be permitted to remain in campus housing.   All students who stayed in campus housing after 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 campus housing is their only home (including faculty and staff for whom campus housing is their permanent address); or 3) students for whom traveling home would present a severe health risk.

Students who need financial assistance in order to depart from campus housing should contact Valerie Lawson, Vice Chancellor for Advancement & Alumni Engagement, at vas7k@uvawise.edu or 276-376-4523.

Dining.  Dining options will be very limited.  Effective immediately, Smith Dining Commons is the only dining facility in service.

Credits for Housing and Dining. We will provide pro-rated credits to student accounts for Housing and Dining contracts.  We will send additional information on the mechanics of this process in a later communication outlining the process for 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.

All faculty and staff who can work remotely should be told to do so.  Telecommuting for all faculty and staff is mandated except for those who must report in person to carry out key functions of their jobs. The latter includes faculty who need to come to classrooms or offices to teach online and UVA Wise Student and Employee Health Center. The traditional categories of “designated” and “non-designated” are helpful but not entirely relevant because supervisors and managers have the authority to identify those who must report and those who can work remotely and should share direct guidance with faculty and staff.  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 Campus 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.

We are determined to ensure that the modifications to our operations will not impact our existing commitments to compensate and continue existing benefits for employees, whether part-time or full-time.  We will honor all existing commitments for the foreseeable future.  The length of this crisis is difficult to predict at this point, as are the economic ramifications.  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.

Those who must report for work will have to do so.  Those who can work remotely will have to do so.  Those who fall into neither category may be asked to perform other functions for their units or schools or to take on tasks elsewhere at the College. Whether or not these employees are able to be re-deployed, we will honor their existing employment commitments for the foreseeable future.

The Library will be closed, except to faculty and staff who need to use them for teaching online classes. Student activity spaces will also be closed.

Ely Health and Wellness Center. All gyms and fitness facilities on campus will be closed.

Additional details will be forthcoming regarding all of the above topics and will be posted on the COVID-19 website.

These decisions were made with the best interests in mind for the health and safety of our students, employees, and our region.  Please accept my sincere appreciation and thanks for everyone’s assistance as we navigate this difficult path together.

Best regards,

Donna Price Henry, Ph.D.
Chancellor



March 13, 2020
To: Employees

Colleagues and students,

Consultations with our with our colleagues in Charlottesville and other Virginia public colleges, in the Council for Public Liberal Arts Colleges, and in the South Atlantic Conference, as well as review of expert advice from the CDC, led to the clear conclusion that we need to be part of the effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19 via social distancing and other strategies that reduce the chances of transmission of the virus from one person to another.

Obviously, the health and wellness of our students, faculty, staff, and community were paramount in this decision; however, we are also concerned about the learning success of our students, the integrity of the degrees that we grant, the continuation of research and scholarship that is important to our faculty and staff, and the efforts of faculty and staff to meet annual professional goals. For that reason, a number of our colleagues are working to lessen the impact of disruption on all of the excellent work that you have accomplished and have yet to accomplish during this academic year.

I recently emailed faculty and staff to provide guidelines, which represent a concerted effort to address issues that we believe are the most critical and pressing for the Academic Affairs division of the College. Undoubtedly, those guidelines will be adjusted as time passes and the situation with COVID-19 evolves. We will add content about training and resources over the next few days to this website, UVA Wise’s COVID-19 website, and to our internal online learning resources, which can be viewed by faculty in Workplace and in the closed Faculty Online Learning Facebook Group. All of these resources will be updated regularly. Please contact the Office of Academic Affairs to gain access to these vital resources.

To wrap up, we are appreciative of your patience, creativity, and hard work as we deal with the COVID-19 health emergency. We are a strong community that supports each other, and I am certain that sense of connectedness will carry us through.

If you have any questions/concerns about the guidelines provided in this email, please contact me directly at folds-bennett@uvawise.edu, and I will get you to the right place for an answer or solution.

Warmest regards,

Trisha Folds-Bennett
Provost Elect



March 12, 2020
Athletic Events Suspended for Remainder of Academic Year

Based on the latest developments and continued concern related to coronavirus (COVID-19) in conjunction with the South Atlantic Conference effective immediately all UVA Wise Athletic competitions and practice have been suspended for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.

This decision comes after the statement issued by the NCAA on Thursday (March 12) canceling the remaining winter championships and all spring championships for NCAA Divisions I, II and III.

“This is an unprecedented situation and there will be many questions to work through,” remarked Director of Athletics Kendall Rainey. “There will be information from UVA Wise, the SAC and NCAA in the days and weeks to come, we will work diligently to support our athletes both emotionally and academically.”

UVA Wise and the SAC will continue to monitor the situation and will make any adjustments to future events if necessary.



March 12, 2020
To: Employees, Students

Students,

The Counseling Center will remain open during the time that classes are conducted only on-line. Students who are local to UVA Wise or who have permission to remain in on-campus housing during this time and wish to attend counseling may do so if they are not experiencing any physical illness (e.g., fever, cough, difficulty breathing, body aches).

For students who are not local at this time, we recommend that you contact mental health services in your area if needed.

  • If you were previously established with a mental health provider in your area, please contact that provider to resume services for the foreseeable future.
  • If you need to begin counseling and were not previously established with a mental health provider in your area, please contact your local community service board (which is your local public mental health provider) for an appointment. If you need help identifying mental health resources in your area, please email the Counseling Center at counseling@uvawise.edu or call 276-376-1005.

The Counseling Center is researching options for distance counseling and will notify students if this becomes an option.

As we all adjust to this new schedule, please remember to practice good self care. If you feel overwhelmed, please don’t hesitate to reach out to campus resources to help you navigate the on-line learning environment.

Sincerely,
Sara Schill, LPC
Lead Counselor



March 11, 2020
To: Students

Residential students,

I write to share an update with you regarding on-campus housing and dining related to the College’s move to online course work for the next couple of weeks. The College is not closed, however, residence halls closed for spring break on Saturday, March 7th and will remain closed during the three week period that classes have been moved online. Residence halls closure/re-opening will be re-evaluated by April 5 at the earliest.

Important Information:

  • Students who are away on Spring Break are encouraged to return home or to remain home if they are already there and not to return to campus. Those who need to return briefly to collect crucial belongings, such as computers or books, will be permitted to do so. Students can arrange to gain access to their residence hall space Monday through Friday 8am-5pm by reporting to the Division of Student Affairs office in Cantrell Hall. Students who may need to travel during the weekend or outside of these hours to pick up belongings should call the housing office at 276-328-0214 to make arrangements for access in advance of their arrival.
  • Students who are on campus staying in the residence halls for non-official College business are strongly encouraged to return home by this weekend.
  • We recognize that some students cannot go home, for a variety of reasons, ranging from the fact that their hometowns or countries are not safe to the fact that their only homes are in Wise. We will continue to provide housing for students living on campus who genuinely cannot return home. Students who have already requested to stay on campus for Spring Break may continue to stay in the residence halls. International students will be allowed to stay on campus.
  •  Students who may have left for break and find that they are in need of housing during the three week period are asked to email wisehousing@uvawise.edu to request to stay on campus. In the request, you should include the reason why you need to return and include appropriate contact information, including cell phone number.
  • Any student staying in the residence hall during this period should note that visitors are not permitted in the residence halls during this time.
  • Please note that the College and College offices are closed on Friday, March 13 for Spring Break Day only.

Dining Information:

  • For residential students who are on campus currently, on-campus dining operations will resume on Monday, March 16. More information about dining hours and location will be provided in the next couple of days.
  • Retail locations (i.e. Chic-fil-A, Build, and Books and Brew) will remain closed.

If you are sick or feeling ill, please do not report back to campus. I encourage you to follow the CDC guidelines and Virginia Department of Health guidelines and continue to work and study as Virginia deals with the events surrounding the COVID-19 situation. Please remain calm and know that we are here to help. If you have questions, contact the housing and residence life office at 276-328-0214 or wisehousing@uvawise.edu.

Best regards,

Dean Justice



March 11, 2020
To: Employees, Students

Dear Campus Community,

I want to share an update on our response to the COVID-19 virus and how we plan to handle operations for the rest of the spring semester. It was a difficult decision but we will be moving our classes online.

We will not have classes on campus for the foreseeable future, but we will review the situation on April 5 and possibly at later times during the semester.
We will start online instruction on March 23.

Students who are away on spring break should remain at home or return to home if they have been away. Some international students and others with extenuating circumstances may return to residence halls, and we will release more information to those students soon.

In addition, events on campus with more than 100 people will be postponed, cancelled, or offered electronically.

As the virus spreads in Virginia and beyond, we feel it is important to take these steps. While we do not have a confirmed case on campus or Wise, we hope that taking these measures will prevent the virus from spreading. We are following University of Virginia guidelines and share many of the same concerns that President Jim Ryan has already expressed and shared with the University and the public. As President Ryan explained in his message, health experts have said the time is now to take steps to prevent the virus spread.

Our buildings at UVA Wise will remain open and so will our UVA Student and Employee Health Clinic. We are cancelling all travel to conferences for both students and employees, and we are postponing several planned events in an attempt to keep the COVID-19 virus from spreading. Non-essential travel for work will be cancelled. Details will be forthcoming as decisions are evaluated. At this time, these restrictions do not apply to athletic events or events at Prior Center, but those decisions will be re-evaluated often.

The decision to move to online instruction was not an easy one. We will provide faculty with help they may need to get their courses ready for virtual instruction. Some of our faculty who already offer online learning may mentor those who are just branching out with virtual learning. Full time students, faculty, and staff were provided iPads last fall. The iPads offer several tools to help online learning continue. Rachel Hulme, the senior specialist with Apple Professional Learning, will work with faculty next week to explore creative ways to make virtual teaching easier for faculty who are new to online classes. Faculty will be briefed in more detail on this plan soon.

For the time being, staff should continue reporting to work as usual and take the recommended steps to prevent illness. Staff with questions or concerns should speak with their supervisors. We ask that staff who are feeling sick to please remain at home.

In the meantime, the CDC, Virginia Department of Health, UVA, UVA Health, and others offer guidance on ways to deal with COVID-19, including valuable tips to keep everyone as safe as possible. You will find links to information on this website to keep everyone up to date on the changing situation. We realize you will have questions about our response and about COVID-19. We are working on a website to provide updated information, and it should go live later today.

I urge the campus community to follow the guidelines and continue to work and study as Virginia deals with the events surrounding the COVID-19 situation. Please remain calm, practice the CDC and VDH guidelines, and continue to make all of us proud of UVA Wise, our students, faculty and staff.

Sincerely,

Donna P. Henry
Chancellor



March 9, 2020
To: Employees

Dear members of the UVA Wise community:

The College received the letter below from President Ryan with the University of Virginia. The College is following the guidance of the University to protect both campus, and the communities around us. The College has a team that is closely monitoring the news, press releases, as well as both academic and athletic travel. Our Student & Employee Health Clinic remains in close contact with the University, its Medical Center, and the local Health Department in the event the virus does appear on campus or in Wise County.

The College will follow the same restrictions enacted by the University below, and as we plan for our students to return from Spring Break, we should be thinking of how we can continue operations in the event students, faculty, and/or staff were to be quarantined or contained, and must be able to work and study remotely.

The College is currently working to add information to our webpage so that you can easily find updates. Any questions regarding academic operations should be directed to the Provosts Office. We will continue to provide updates as they are received.

Thank you for your cooperation and attention to this important matter.

Joe Kiser

 

Dear members of the University community:

Like all of you, I am concerned about the presence of the novel coronavirus in the United States and abroad and its potential effect on students, families, employees, and community members. I write today to share the latest information we have and some decisions we have made to look out for the wellbeing of our University community and the greater Charlottesville region.

There has not been a case of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, on Grounds or in the greater Charlottesville community, but the Virginia Department of Health has confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, both in Northern Virginia. Our immediate risk remains low. The situation, however, is rapidly evolving, much remains unknown about the threats posed by COVID-19, and we take very seriously the responsibility to make prudent choices for the wellbeing of our community. A cross-university team continues to meet regularly to share information in real-time, consider changes in approach that will best protect our community, and set plans in motion for a wide variety of contingencies. I am in contact with them daily, and Provost Magill and I will continue to regularly update the community, through messages and on our website, about what we know and our plans.

Consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Department of State, and the Virginia Department of Health, we have decided to enact the following restrictions and guidelines on University-related travel in order to help to mitigate our community’s risk of exposure to the virus:

International Travel

  • University-related travel to countries where the CDC has enacted level 3, or the State Department has enacted levels 3 or 4 is prohibited. CDC travel guidance related to COVID-19 is available here.
  • Faculty and staff who have exceptional reasons to travel to those countries may submit a petition to the Provost’s office via an email to COVIDtravel@virginia.edu.
  • International travel to restricted areas without an approved petition will not be reimbursed.
  • If you travel or have recently traveled to one of these countries, we expect you to follow CDC guidance about self-isolation: stay home for a period of 14 days upon your return and seek medical attention if you experience fever, coughs, or difficulty breathing.

Domestic Travel

At this point, we are not prohibiting university-related domestic travel, but we strongly discourage all University travel (both domestic and international) for non-essential purposes, particularly that by air, to large gatherings, and to areas experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 cases, as documented by the CDC. If you must travel, please take all possible precautions before traveling, including staying up to date on the latest spread of the virus and considering difficulties you may encounter in returning home, especially when traveling internationally.

These guidelines will be effective immediately and will be in place until at least April 15. Before April 15, we will re-assess and determine whether these policies will continue.

While these guidelines apply to University-related travel, we ask members of the community to apply similar judgment in considering personal travel commitments, both internationally and domestically.

Spring Break and Beyond

Many of our students are currently away on Spring Break, so the pace of events on Grounds has slowed for the week ahead. Unless local conditions change, University sponsored events, programs, tours, and operations will continue as planned during Spring Break. We will continue to monitor this issue carefully, relying on guidance from internal experts at UVA Health, the Virginia Department of Health, and the CDC.

We will write again by the middle of the week with additional updates regarding University programming during the weeks following Spring Break. At this point in time, we plan for students to return to Grounds and to resume classes, but we will be making some modifications to mitigate against the risk of exposure to and transmission of the virus, which we will explain in more detail by mid-week.

This is a challenging time for our community, the nation, and the world as we respond to COVID-19 and the uncertainty surrounding it. We will do our best to stay on top of this quickly evolving situation, and to communicate with you regularly and fully as conditions change. I am grateful to all of you for your understanding and flexibility, and for your commitment to the wellbeing of our community. This is a time for our community to come together, and acting together, I remain confident in our ability to navigate this difficult and uncertain period.

For more information, please consult our website, which we are continually updating.

Sincerely,

Jim Ryan
President



March 4, 2020
To: Employees, Students

Dear members of the UVA Wise community:

Since our last College-wide communication on February 28, the number of national coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continues to rise. While we are not aware of any cases in Virginia, the safety of the UVA Wise and our local community is our primary concern. I write to share with you the proactive steps we are taking. Note that this guidance is subject to change as the situation is rapidly evolving. The University continues to provide updates and resources on the University’s website.

Spring Break Study Abroad

  • The College has canceled all outbound study abroad programs scheduled over spring break. We notified affected faculty program directors and students. Faculty will work directly with students to arrange for completion of coursework through alternative means if required.
  • Our decision on spring break trips was guided by the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) March 1st recommendation that Universities should reconsider study abroad travel. It is in everyone’s best interest that students avoid unnecessary travel through crowded transportation hubs for short visits to uncertain environments before they return to campus. We feel this is the best decision to protect our students and our local community where students will return after their travel.
  • We are in close, regular communication with those students who are currently abroad on exchange and other programs, regarding how to monitor and assess their current situations based on conditions in the country they are visiting.

Travel Guidance

  • The CDC maintains a Travel Information website related to COVID-19, and specifically recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to countries at Warning Level 3. Note that these ratings can change rapidly.
  • We urge faculty, staff, and students who have personal or professional plans to travel either internationally or to affected areas in the U.S. to reconsider their travel. In doing so, we ask each of you to take into account the possibility of travel delays, future quarantines, or prolonged self-isolation when returning from travel to the UVA Wise and our communities.
  • If you have travel insurance, you should closely review your plan to assure it does not exclude pandemics in the case of need for medical evacuation.
  • We strongly encourage faculty and staff to share any travel plans with your department chair, dean, or manager in order to facilitate University assistance if the need arises.
  • We strongly urge student organizations (CIOs) to share any travel plans with the Office of the Dean of Students.

The decisions we are making rely heavily on the guidance we are receiving from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health and are intended to protect the health and welfare of our faculty, staff, students, and local community. We recognize the uncertainty this global health issue is creating and are committed to keep you informed and up to date as this situation evolves. You may find updates and current information on the University’s website and FAQ.

Sincerely,

Joe Kiser
Director of College Services



February 27, 2020
To: Employees

Dear UVA Wise Colleagues,

As spring break approaches and the news regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) changes daily, I write with important updates about how we are preparing for potential disruptions to our normal operations here and abroad.

Many UVA Wise students have spring break travel plans to destinations around the world. Similarly, many faculty members have travel planned at this time of year, some of it associated with College programs and research.

If you are planning to travel in the near future, it is important to be aware that there is significant uncertainty surrounding the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a website for Travel Information related to COVID-19, and is recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to countries at Warning Level 3. That currently includes only China and South Korea, but these ratings can change rapidly. We advise you to consider carefully any travel to countries with reported COVID-19 outbreaks and take into account the possibility of delays and quarantines when returning to the United States. While the College and University has no mechanism for monitoring faculty travel, even for College-related business, we strongly encourage you to share any travel plans with your department chair in order to facilitate College and University assistance if the need arises.

Faculty members are eligible for Travel Assistance Insurance, but there are certain exclusions regarding epidemics and pandemics. Travelers who arrange travel through Christopherson Travel, the University’s travel vendor (available through the TravelUVA app , behind Netbadge), automatically receive information on the insurance during the reservation process. If you do not arrange travel through Christopherson, you are still eligible for this insurance; please go to TravelUVA (Travel Resources) for more information.

Under University policy, we will cancel any study abroad programs, even those in progress, at any location for which the CDC sets a warning level 3, or the State Department sets a warning level 3 or 4. (This approach is outlined in the University’s comprehensive policy on Student International Travel – PROV-010.)

Finally, we are aware that stigmatization may occur around coronavirus. The CDC has developed a webpage offering guidance on countering this stigma. Please help us prevent stigmatization by becoming familiar the facts about COVID-19, and supporting community members with compassion and kindness.

The College is committed to keeping our community informed about critical decisions and also the best ways to stay healthy. The University will continue to update the COVID-19 website and FAQs. For any academic policy-related inquiries, please contact the Interim Provost Mark Clark at: mwc4n@uvawise.edu.

Our foremost concern is the health and safety of our faculty, students, staff, and our community. Rest assured that a team is closely monitoring the situation and following advice and directives from the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, and the U.S. Department of State. To that end, we have already begun planning for any contingencies that might affect programs. We will share these plans as needed in the coming days. Thank you for your support and patience.

Sincerely,

Joe Kiser
Director of College Services



February 27, 2020
To: Students

Dear Students:

Since many of you soon will be leaving Wise for Spring Break, I am writing with several important reminders about health and safety.

If you follow the news, you already know the global coronavirus outbreak is a major concern for anyone considering international travel at this time. The virus has spread to areas of the world beyond China with an accelerating and unpredictable trajectory. This threat will likely grow. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced this week that the virus is expected to impact the United States in a more severe way than it has to date.

Traveling abroad – whether for study or leisure – carries a number of potential risks. Even a country not currently experiencing an outbreak could suddenly be declared a high-risk area, resulting in heightened exposure to the virus, difficulty with departure, immigration barriers in returning to the U.S., and even possible restrictions on returning to campus. The College & University strongly recommends not traveling to locations with CDC or State Department Level 3 alerts or higher. While we have not cancelled any current or existing study abroad programs, the College will cancel any such programs, even if already under way, at any location for which the CDC sets a warning level 3, or the State Department sets a warning level 3 or 4.

The seasonal flu also is present in many areas. Basic measures remain the best defense against coronavirus, flu, and other communicable diseases:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water.
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.

TRAVEL PREPARATION

  • The CDC maintains a travel information website for coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • CDC Warning Level 3 is in effect for China and South Korea (as of Feb. 24).
  • CDC Alert Level 2 is in effect for Iran, Italy, and Japan (as of Feb. 23).
  • Be familiar with all aspects of the area you are visiting. The State Department’s website, studentsabroad.state.gov, offers planning tips, including links to local laws.
  • Enroll in the State Department’s STEP program and sign up for alerts for your destination(s).

The CDC has recognized stigmatization may occur around coronavirus, and in response, has developed a webpage offering guidance on countering the stigma. Please help us prevent stigmatization by becoming familiar with the facts about COVID-19.

The University continues to monitor conditions around coronavirus and maintains a website with FAQs.

PARTICIPATING IN NON-UVA WISE-AFFILIATED PROGRAMS

  • If you are traveling as part of a non UVA Wise program, remember the College does not oversee these programs. No UVA Wise office maintains a record of Spring Break programs or travel.
  • Be sure to let family members know how best to reach you, and share an additional point of contact if available.

OTHER HEALTH AND SAFETY TIPS

Using Taxis or Rideshare

  • If you are a rideshare user, review the safety tips provided by Uber and Lyft. Requesting and waiting for your ride inside, and having the driver confirm your name (“Who are you here to pick up?”) can help increase your safety.
  • Be familiar with legitimate taxi companies in the area(s) where you are traveling. Look for a phone number on the vehicle, and look for a taxi meter and radio, which may indicate legitimacy.

Preparing to Leave Wise

  • Before leaving town, securely lock the doors and windows of your apartment, house, or room. Draw curtains or shades so valuables will not be visible. If feasible, take valuables, such as small electronics or jewelry, with you.
  • Leave an external (porch, deck, etc.) light on for security.
  • Lock your car and remove any valuables.
  • If you live in College housing, follow instructions from Housing & Residence Life.
  • Be conscious of what you post on social media regarding your absence from Wise.

Staying in Wise

  • Hours for most College services, such as Dining, will be altered during Spring Break. Please check the website for details.
  • Remain vigilant about your own safety and that of your friends and neighbors who may also be staying in the area. With fewer people on campus and in nearby areas, remain aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night, and don’t hesitate to call 911 if you encounter a suspicious person or situation.
  • Most College offices will be closed for Spring Break Day on Friday, March 13.

In a community as large as ours, with widely varying plans for Spring Break, it is not possible to predict all the risks you may encounter. My best advice is to take health and safety seriously, be prepared for changing conditions, and anticipate potential problems that may arise.

Despite the current uncertainties we all are facing, I hope you enjoy a safe, healthy, and rejuvenating break.

Sincerely,

Joe Kiser
Director of College Services



February 10, 2020
To: Employees, Students

Dear UVA Wise Students, Faculty and Staff:

This email provides an update on the University’s ongoing efforts regarding coronavirus. It contains new information that is primarily important to those who have traveled from Hubei province or mainland China since Jan. 19, 2020.

The guidance below outlines requirements that have been issued by the federal government and guidance from the University of Virginia. In addition, this email also provides advice for faculty and students in the event that classroom adjustments or accommodations are necessary.

As you are no doubt aware, the federal government has announced important new policies related to coronavirus. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued temporary measures that are intended to aid efforts to detect and combat the coronavirus. These measures went into effect Sunday, Feb. 2, at 5 p.m. and include:

  • Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in Hubei province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they are provided proper medical care and health screening and to minimize the risk of spreading the disease to others.
  • Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days will undergo proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry and up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.
  • Foreign nationals, other than immediate family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the U.S. for this time.

In addition to making you aware of these federal policies, we are making the following requests of faculty, students, and staff:

If you have traveled in Hubei province, China, between Jan. 19 and Feb. 2 and returned to the U.S.:

  • STUDENTS: Contact the Student & Employee Health Clinic at 276-376-3475.
  • FACULTY AND STAFF: Contact the Student & Employee Health Clinic at 276-376-3475 or your primary care physician.
  • We request that you self-isolate for a period of 14 days since your return from China. During this period, we ask that you not go to work, classes or athletic events, and that you limit contact with others as much as possible.

If you have traveled in mainland China between Jan. 19 and Feb. 2 and returned to the U.S., or had close contact with someone you believe to have coronavirus:

  • We ask that you take your temperature twice a day and remain alert for fever, coughs, or difficulty breathing.
  • If you develop these symptoms:
    • STUDENTS should contact the Student & Employee Health Clinic at 276-376-3475.
    • FACULTY AND STAFF should contact the Student & Employee Health Clinic at 276-376-3475 or their primary care physician.
    • We ask that you self-isolate pending further instructions from medical professionals. If employees have questions about leave, they can contact the HR Solution Center at 434-243-3344 or askhr@virginia.edu.

If you are a student who self-isolates:

  • Contact your instructors via email or telephone to discuss appropriate class adjustments or accommodations.

If you are an instructor with a student who self-isolates and who asks for class adjustments:

  • We ask that you consider appropriate adjustment or accommodation.
  • Examples include:
    • Allowing students to Zoom into class lectures or use lecture-capture technology to record lectures.
    • Granting some flexibility with course attendance policies.
    • Helping secure a copy of course notes.
    • Modifying deadlines for assignments or exams that normally take place during the course meeting time.

Faculty members who have questions about how to make appropriate adjustments/accommodations may find assistance with the Student Disability Access Center by emailing SDAC@virginia.edu.

We recognize that many of you are receiving questions from students or have questions of your own related to the coronavirus. If so, here are some resources that will provide additional information:

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Personal and general health questions:
    • STUDENTS: Email the Student & Employee Health Clinic: healthclinic@uvawise.edu
    • FACULTY AND STAFF:
      • Contact the Student & Employee Health Clinic or your medical provider for personal health questions
      • Academic policy-related inquiries: Contact the Office of the Provost

A team of University officials continues to closely monitor this evolving global public health situation. We remain committed to keeping our community informed about the University’s actions and the best way to stay healthy as events develop. Thank you to everyone who is working together to keep the University community safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Joe Kiser
Director of College Services



January 30, 2020
To: Employees, Students

Dear UVA Wise Students, Faculty and Staff:

A few days ago we wrote to make sure you were aware of the global concern about a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan City, China and to inform you about the steps the University of Virginia, whose guidance the College is following as they operate the Student & Employee Health Clinic on campus, is taking to keep the community safe. We write to provide additional information and to let you know that additional information will be posted on the University’s website as this situation develops.

To date, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report 5 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States with another 73 pending verification by testing. It is important to note that all confirmed cases have been imported and no reported person-to-person spread of the virus has occurred in the United States at this time.

At this point, the risk coronavirus poses to the College remains low, but this is an evolving situation. Officials from Student Health, UVA Health, UVA Wise Health, Student Affairs, Emergency Management, International Studies and other key offices are actively monitoring the situation and preparing to respond as needed.

At this time, the College has no faculty-led or College-administered education abroad programs planned for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester in China. We recommend following CDC guidance and have provided additional information below for students planning to travel abroad.

As stated in our previous communication, if you are a student who has recently been to Wuhan or who has possibly come in contact with an infected individual AND you exhibit fever, shortness of breath, or a cough, please contact the UVA Student & Employee Health Wise Clinic at 276-376-3475.

Similarly, if you are a faculty or staff member with these symptoms and you have traveled to Wuhan or may have come in contact with an infected individual, you should seek medical assistance through the UVA Student & Employee Health Wise Clinic or your primary care physician.

If you are planning travel abroad, remember to:

  • Visit the local health department or your primary care physician in advance for current travel health and vaccination recommendations.
  • For students, register all University-related travel through the UVA Wise International Programs Office.
  • Enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, to receive current embassy alerts and messages for your destinations.

The best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple but important measures to practice as part of your daily routine:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water.
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.

Health officials and administrators throughout the University and College will continue to work closely with partners at the Virginia Department of Health to prepare for, screen, and prevent the spread of illness. As this situation continues to develop, we will provide updates and information to help you stay healthy. Please check the dedicated page on the University’s website should you have any questions.

More information and additional FAQ’s on coronavirus and how to stay safe are available here.

For personal health-related questions, please email:healthclinic@uvawise.edu

Sincerely,

Joe Kiser
Director of College Services



January 24, 2020
To: Employees, Students

Dear UVA Wise Students, Faculty and Staff:

In recent days, you have likely heard intensifying reports about a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. This new disease has sickened hundreds and led to the deaths of 26, according to the latest official reports. The threat to the UVA Wise community currently is considered low, but outbreaks of new viruses in humans are always a public health concern.

UVA Health, the Department of Student Health & Wellness, UVA Wise, and other UVA offices such as the International Studies Office are monitoring this evolving situation. We are writing today to provide a general update as well as specific instructions if you plan to visit China or recently traveled to Wuhan. Since information regarding this disease is changing quickly, we advise you to check the CDC website for the most up-to-date details and guidance.

As of today, the CDC recommends deferring travel only to Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The U.S. Department of State has issued a “do not travel” advisory for all of Hubei Province. Other parts of China carry the CDC’s lowest level of alert and a recommendation to “practice usual precautions.” Chinese visitors coming to the U.S. from Wuhan are now being screened at several U.S. airports, but this process does not currently apply to visitors from other parts of China.

If you are a student who has recently been to Wuhan or who has possibly come in contact with an infected individual AND you exhibit any of the following symptoms, please contact the UVA Student & Employee Health Wise Clinic at 276-376-3475:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough

Similarly, if you are a faculty or staff member with these symptoms and you have traveled to Wuhan or may have come in contact with an infected individual, you should seek medical assistance through the UVA Student & Employee Health Wise Clinic or your primary care physician.

If you are planning travel abroad, remember to:

  • Visit the local health department, or your primary care physician in advance for current travel health and vaccination recommendations.
  • For students, register all University-related travel through the UVA Wise International Programs Office.
  • Enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, to receive current embassy alerts and messages for your destinations.

The best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple but important measures to practice as part of your daily routine, but especially during flu season:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water.
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.

Health officials and administrators throughout the University will continue to work closely with partners at the Virginia Department of Health to prepare for, screen, and prevent the spread of illness and keep our community safe. If the situation warrants, we will follow up with additional communication.

Sincerely,

Joe Kiser
Director of College Services