CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The University of Virginia announced Friday that it is moving ahead with plans to offer in-person instruction for the fall semester.
In a statement posted on the school’s website, UVA officials said they had initially delayed the start of in-person undergraduate classes by two weeks to allow for more assessment of the spread of COVID-19. They also said they delayed the decision in order to take a look at how other schools have fared since opening.
UVA said it is now proceeding with plans to welcome students to residence halls starting Sept. 3 and to begin in-person instruction for undergraduates on Sept. 8.
“We know some will be delighted to hear this news and others will be disappointed,” the statement said. “To be frank, it was a very difficult decision, made in the face of much uncertainty, and with full awareness that future events may force us to change course.”
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Friday that UVA has reported 67 total positive COVID cases since Aug. 17 among students, faculty and staff. Of those, 23 were students who reported a positive test on Thursday, the school’s highest single-day total. Twenty-five students, faculty or staff have been hospitalized.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.