After observing a record-breaking 121 new cases on Monday, UVA President Jim Ryan announced via email that all-in person gatherings will be banned starting February 16 at 7:00 pm, with the possibility of adjustment on Feb. 26.
In addition to the lockdown, gyms and libraries will remain closed for the duration of this period. For students who live on-Grounds, they will still be able to engage in “essential activities” such as eating at and picking up food at dining halls, going to an on- or off-Grounds job, and complying with the University’s required weekly prevalence testing.
For off-Grounds students, they are encouraged to limit contact with those with whom they do not live, and are only allowed to be on-Grounds for the same “essential activities” listed above.
However, the University has decided to continue with a limited number of in-person classes, with President Ryan citing “no evidence” of viral transmission in this manner.
This announcement comes on the heels of Greek Life recruitment, where the university allowed the Inter-Fraternity Council to host in-person events if they adhered to the University’s COVID-19 policies which include requiring students to wear masks, limits on gatherings to just six people, and maintaining six feet of social distancing between individuals. These in-person Greek Life events were not mentioned in President Ryan’s email.
If conditions improve with the newly implemented restrictions, the University will revert to its original plan from the start of the semester. However, if cases continue to rise, the administration will be “forced to consider additional measures,” such as moving all undergraduate classes online with graduate and professional schools possibly following suit.