COVID-19 Update

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty,


Thank you for your continued commitment to promoting the health of our campus community. Our collective efforts have enabled a vibrant and engaging semester thus far. While we recognize that COVID-19 may be with us for the foreseeable future, perhaps becoming endemic, we are encouraged about the downward trend in COVID-19 cases nationally and locally. We hope that in the coming weeks local case counts will continue to decrease and the situation on campus will allow further adjustment to our COVID-19 policies. However, we are not there yet and need to continue to mitigate the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus, as other universities have experienced. As a result, we write today with some important updates and reminders related to our COVID-19 response planning as we continue to work together to mitigate risks to our community.




After careful consideration, we have decided to extend the universal indoor mask requirement until Friday, Nov. 5. In making this decision we considered a number of factors, including our experience on campus this semester, current COVID-19 data in our community, prevailing public health guidance, and regulatory requirements.


The CDC and the Virginia Department of Health continue to recommend universal indoor masking in areas that meet the CDC criteria for substantial or high levels of community transmission of COVID-19. Additionally, recent changes to Virginia workplace regulations require vaccinated and unvaccinated employees to wear masks indoors in areas with substantial or high levels of community transmission. Currently, both the City of Richmond and Henrico County are classified as having high levels of community transmission.


Coupled with our very high vaccination rates on campus and additional mitigation strategies, including weekly prevalence testing of unvaccinated students, we consider universal masking indoors as a necessary measure at this time. However, if conditions on campus are favorable and the case rates in our community improve, we will revisit the requirement for universal indoor masking and will revise our policies accordingly. We will announce any changes to our existing mask policy prior to Nov. 5.




A number of COVID-19 testing options, including a few new opportunities, are available for our community.



Free COVID-19 testing for students who are symptomatic or identified as a close contact is readily available on campus. The Student Health Center has expanded its capacity for COVID-19 testing for students experiencing mild symptoms that may be indicative of COVID-19. Students experiencing any symptoms should contact the Student Health Center, which will provide students with the proper guidance on accessing a test on campus. If students choose to take a COVID-19 test off campus, they must upload the test result to their Student Health Center portal.


We are also continuing weekly prevalence testing for unvaccinated students and are grateful to those students for their diligent participation.


Staff and Faculty

For staff and faculty who may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, the University has partnered with BetterMed Urgent Care to provide a COVID-19 concierge testing service. An at-home testing option for those experiencing symptoms is also available. The costs of both of these testing options for faculty and staff are covered by the University. Details regarding the use of these options are explained in the Working on Campus Guide. Please notify the COVID-19 Support Center if you test positive or believe that you are a close contact.


Faculty and staff who are identified as close contacts of a campus community member who tests positive have the option to be tested at our on-campus testing clinic or with a community provider. The University’s contact tracers will connect those identified as close contacts with testing resources. Additionally, instructors in a class where a student has a confirmed case of COVID-19 now have the option of being tested at the on-campus testing clinic even if they are not deemed to be a close contact. This testing is only available to those without symptoms and will be done 3–5 days after the instructor’s last exposure to the student who tested positive. Instructors who wish to be tested should contact the COVID-19 Support Center to schedule that testing.




We have received a number of questions over the past few weeks related to isolation and quarantine protocols. A number of important resources exist that describe the University’s use of isolation and quarantine.


Faculty and Staff

An FAQ for faculty and staff about isolation and quarantine is now available on the COVID-19 response website. Also, we have prepared a helpful guide to assist those who believe they may have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.



For students, there are two new flow charts focusing on protocols for students in isolation and students identified as close contacts. You can find these flow charts and other helpful information about isolation and quarantine here.


Thank you in advance for your continued support, patience, and understanding and for all you are doing each and every day to help us to navigate the pandemic and maintain the health of our community.




David Hale
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Jeffrey Legro
Executive Vice President and Provost

Shannon Sinclair

Vice President and General Counsel, Chair, Resilience Working Group

410 Westhampton Way, University of Richmond, VA 23173
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