In response to a continuous decline in University COVID-19 cases, and in time for warmer Spring weather ahead, Dean Allen Groves’ most recent email on Tuesday evening provided relaxed guidelines for outdoor gatherings.
The email sent to students across the University detailed “an increase in the size of outdoor gatherings from 10 to 25 people”. Dean Groves noted students must continue to maintain standard COVID-19 measures of physical distancing and mask-wearing. Indoor gathering limits remain capped at six individuals.
Dean Groves thanked students “for the many sacrifices” they have made to limit the spread of COVID-19 and preserve community safety. Community members were also asked to “commit” to doing their part to “avoid a new spike in COVID cases”.
Geared towards providing more flexibility in club gatherings, effective Mar. 23, University students “will be able to spend more time outdoors participating in club sports, IM-Rec events, outdoor theater and music rehearsals, and performances”.
In his email, Dean Groves encouraged students to continue their efforts to maintain low numbers of COVID-19 cases, citing the potential for in-person graduation events in May for “our fourth years, graduate and professional students — as well as some third-years” as a motivator to stay vigilant.
The increase from 10 to 25 individuals, the largest gathering limit sanctioned by the University since the COVID-19 pandemic required restrictions on gathering sizes is a striking contrast to last month’s announcement of a 10-day zero-person limit on gatherings.
Although more University staff, students, faculty and Charlottesville residents continue to receive vaccinations, Dean Groves urged students to remember “the pandemic is still not behind us”.
For more information on current public health measures, members of the community are encouraged to refer to this site.