University of Virginia moves to online classes amid COVID-19 outbreak; students told to stay home

Charlottesville One Year Later
Posted at 12:53 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 12:53:03-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Classes at the University of Virginia will be held online "for the foreseeable future, quite possibly through the end of the semester," the university advised Wednesday.

"Students who are away on Spring Break are strongly encouraged to return home or to remain home if they are already there," the statement continued. "Students on Grounds and in Charlottesville are strongly encouraged to return home by this weekend."

The university announced it would reassess its position after April 5.

Online classes begin Thursday, March 19.

In addition, university events with more than 100 people are prohibited for the foreseeable future and should be postponed, canceled, or offered virtually.

"The university – including university buildings and the Health System – will remain open, and we will bring students back to Grounds as soon as we can do so safely," the statement continued. "While we hope to do so before the end of the semester, we may not be able to and are working on a number of contingency plans, including plans for graduation."


  • If you are currently away on Spring Break, we strongly encourage you to stay home or return to your home. Those who need to return briefly to collect crucial belongings, such as computers or books, will be permitted to do so, and details about how to do so will be forthcoming.
  • If you are currently in Charlottesville, we strongly encourage you to return home.
  • This strong request applies to all students regardless of where you are living – whether on Grounds or off.
  • We recognize that some students cannot go home, for a variety of reasons, ranging from the fact that their hometowns or countries are not safe to the fact that their only homes are in Charlottesville. We will continue to provide housing for students living on Grounds who genuinely cannot return home, and we will continue to provide dining services, though they will be modified. We will also offer assistance to students on financial aid who need help in returning to their homes.
  • With the help and creativity of faculty and staff, we will make sure you are able to meet your academic requirements remotely, and we will pay special attention to graduating students. You will be hearing from deans and professors over the next week with details about your classes, including any clinical, experiential, performance-based, or studio learning that may require alternative arrangements.


  • All faculty will be hearing from their deans soon with more details about moving classes online.
  • We are standing up a team to provide the necessary training and technology to move courses online.
  • While some research will be put on hold, we have plans in place to allow core research operations to continue. Those of you who are conducting research will be hear from our Provost, Liz Magill, and Vice President for Research Ram Ramasubramanian with more details soon.


  • For the time being, staff should continue reporting to work as usual and take the recommended steps to prevent illness.
  • Staff with questions or concerns about their workplaces and the possibility of telecommuting should speak with their supervisors. We ask that staff who are feeling sick to please remain at home.


  • Effective immediately and until further notice, we are suspending all university-sponsored events that involve more than 100 people.
  • For events that involve fewer than 100 people, we strongly recommend alternatives to having an in-person event and, if that is not possible, taking all necessary precautions to mitigate the risk of infection. We also ask that those hosting events that involve visitors traveling to Grounds, of whatever size, consider alternatives or cancelling those events, depending on the risks involved.
  • At this time, these restrictions do not apply to athletic events or events at JPJ, both of which remain under discussion and consideration.

UVA will continue to provide additional detail in response to questions these decisions will generate, and will update this site to reflect new and revised guidance.
See the Current Students FAQ for more information. These will be updated regularly.

See the Faculty and Staff FAQ for more information. These will be updated regularly.