The new mask guidelines will be in place at the University for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, Provost Liz Magill and Chief Executive Officer JJ Davis announced in an email Friday afternoon. . All individuals are required to wear masks indoors on University campuses – including administrative and academic buildings, libraries, laboratories, dining rooms, IM Rec and U.Va facilities. Medical locations – regardless of immunization status starting Monday, August 9.

“This policy will allow us to start the school year at full capacity and reduce the potential for spikes in cases due to Delta variation and student agglomeration,” the email said.

No need for a mask when actively eating, or when alone in an enclosed space. Masking guidelines also do not apply to dormitories or private residences, and Provost’s office will issue waivers generally related to specific courses.

Despite the new guidelines, Magill and Davis reaffirmed the College’s commitment to a full boarding and learning experience this fall, noting that classrooms, dormitories, dining and entertainment facilities are mind will operate at full capacity. The university is also currently re-evaluating mask requirements for large outdoor gatherings, with Virginia Football scheduled to play William and Mary at home on September 4 and Council events. college programs for Wahoo Welcome Week are scheduled to begin August 18.

“We recognize that this change can cause inconvenience as the term begins, but we believe it is the best way to get everyone back safely and start a successful year together. here on the Grounds,” the email said.

According to Magill and Davis, a virtual town hall with public health officials and University leaders is scheduled for August 11. Additionally, according to Magill and Davis, the University hopes to make modifications. or lift the new mask-wearing policy for those fully immunized by September 6.

The decision to resume masking duties follows similar decisions by universities across the country, including Virginia Tech, Yale University, Ohio State University, Cornell University, Yale University, and the University of California. Auburn.

According to university deputy spokesman Brian Coy, university administrators still anticipate a “normal” semester due to high vaccination rates among students, staff and faculty. According to Coy, 93% of students and 89% of faculty members were fully vaccinated as of August 2.

To return to Base, students must upload proof of immunizations or an approved medical or religious waiver to their HealthyHoos portal. Faculty and staff have been strongly encouraged, but not required, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Unvaccinated people are subject to mask requirements and weekly popularity checks.

“As we’ve said a few times over the summer, University leaders expect high vaccination rates in our community of students, faculty, and staff to enable a return to a way of life. , studying and working together is much more ‘normal’ in Charlottesville this semester. ,” said Coy. “The classes will be in-person, as will the experiences that will be crucial to what it means to be a part of U.Va. community.”

“College leaders are monitoring the evolution of the Delta variant, as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health. If they determine that changes are needed to keep everyone healthy and safe, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.”

Magill and Davis first outlined the University’s plans and expectations for a typical fall semester in an email to students on July 15. At the time, there were no plans for face covering, gathering or social distancing requirements.

Since then, however, the Delta variant has made a splash across the country — the CDC estimates that the Delta variant now comprises more than 93% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

The strain originated in India last December and is more contagious than other variants of COVID-19 – an internal CDC document describes Delta as being more transmissible than the common cold. , influenza, Ebola, smallpox, MERS and SARS. While an initial carrier of the COVID-19 strain may have infected an average of two and a half other people, a Delta carrier can infect between five and eight people, according to the BBC.

The CDC released updated guidance for vaccinated individuals on July 18. While the center previously stated on May 13 that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors, they reversed that claim and recommended that vaccinated people wear face masks in indoor public settings in areas of significant or high transmission. The University initially lifted mask regulations and collection size restrictions on May 27.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, cases in the Commonwealth have increased since early July, with 1,845 cases reported on Thursday. According to U.Va. Health Doctor Bill Petri.

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