Update on prevalence testing requirement (February 26, 2021):
Dear Research Colleagues,
As a follow-on to the message below, I write to share that experienced undergraduates who were approved for lab-based work will be permitted to return to labs effective March 1, 2021. This decision was informed by the drop in prevalence and after consulting with medical experts. We will not require weekly prevalence testing for researchers but as a reminder, this does not apply to graduate students in your laboratory, they must continue to test weekly. If you would like to voluntarily test you may do so.
Please note that the testing protocols for laboratory employees and graduate students as communicated on February 18 remain in place. Please continue to emphasize all health and safety measures in your lab, including social distancing, mask wearing, and hand sanitizing.
Melur K. (Ram) Ramasubramanian, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research
There are only two groups that were required to do prevalence testing for spring 2021.
1. Student (both UG and Grad)--NEW: Vaccinated students starting 14 days from the date of their final dose they will be exempt from testing. Records for students who have been vaccinated through UVA Health will be transferred automatically. Students who have received vaccines from providers other than UVA Health should upload their vaccination record (“vaccine card”) through the Healthy Hoos Patient Portal starting March 1.
2. Anyone on a research plan.- Updated 2/26 No longer required. Testing is encouraged but not required unless you are a student.
Everyone else can test, but it is voluntary. We have paused the research testing, so you now are not required to test, but your students must still do so as part of the other requirement. If you would like to test visit the BeSafe webpage for times and locations.
Phase II. (We are in phase II) On-grounds density levels can increase as disease spread in the labs is deemed under control and effectively monitored, and/or management and treatments options are successfully advanced to acceptable levels set forth by the Commonwealth. At this stage, select graduate students and experienced undergraduates* can return based on school prioritization to the essential nature of the work.
* “Experienced Undergraduates” are students that have worked in a researcher’s lab for at least two months pre-COVID. This restriction will be revisited later in the academic year. Exceptions to this guidance can only be granted with Dean Office approval. Interschool undergraduate lab assignments will only be granted with Dean Office approval from both schools.