In response to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s announcement today afternoon that the state will remove its mask mandate, UVA President Jim Ryan sent a University-wide email stating that fully vaccinated members of the UVA community may forego masks both indoors and outdoors.
The changes will take effect at 9 a.m. this Saturday, May 15, and will apply to the Final Exercises ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021.
Fully vaccinated individuals who plan to attend the ceremonies need not wear masks. However, physical distancing requirements and capacity limits on the Lawn and at Scott Stadium will remain in place, in line with the Governor’s guidance.
Individuals who have not yet been fully vaccinated are still required to wear masks when they are around others, in both indoor and outdoor settings.
All other University policies on physical distancing, gatherings, and prevalence testing remain in effect.
The University policy has been updated accordingly.
In his email, President Ryan also urged community members who have not yet scheduled a vaccination appointment to “please do so as soon as possible“.
“It is important to remember that many people will continue to wear masks in various settings for the foreseeable future. Some have yet to get vaccinated, and others may simply feel more comfortable wearing a mask even after they’ve been fully vaccinated,” said President Ryan.
“Please continue to treat each other with respect and kindness as we take this next step forward together.”
– President Jim Ryan
As vaccination rates continue to rise nationwide, President Ryan noted the UVA administration will continue to evaluate federal and state changes and adapt them to the University community’s needs.
The administration will also update students soon on additional details for the coming 2021-22 academic year, including University policy on vaccines for students, faculty, and staff.