In a letter to the University of Virginia community on Friday, Provost Liz Magill and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis announced that all people, whether they are vaccinated or not, will continue to be required to wear a mask while inside University-owned or leased spaces at least through the end of October. Community members will not be required to wear a mask while at home in a residence hall or private residence or while actively eating or drinking.
While cases of COVID-19 within the UVA community remain low, Magill and Davis cited the higher prevalence of the virus in surrounding areas as the reason for extending the policy.
“Now that the semester is fully underway, we continue to see encouraging signs that high vaccination rates within our community and other mitigation measures are helping to limit the spread of COVID-19, even as we get back to more ‘normal’ ways of living, learning and working together,” Magill and Davis wrote. “Unfortunately, while cases within the UVA community remain low, the high prevalence of the delta variant in Central Virginia is straining health care resources in the Charlottesville-Albemarle region.”
Effective Oct. 18, the University will also require all people who attend a ticketed event at John Paul Jones Arena to provide either proof of vaccination or of a negative COVID-19 test before entering the venue.
Writing about this new policy, Magill and Davis said, “This requirement, along with our indoor mask requirement, will provide added assurance that UVA basketball games, concerts and other events at JPJ will not be sources of significant community spread.”
The University will contact ticketholders for upcoming events directly with additional information about this requirement.
Magill and Davis thanked members of the community for their help keeping case numbers low and pledged to ease these measures as soon as possible, saying, “As conditions improve, we are eager to modify or lift this indoor mask requirement as soon as we can safely. We will spend the month of October monitoring the progression of the virus and will offer another update on public health policies no later than Nov. 1.”