The University announced Tuesday that students and individuals are now permitted to gather in groups of 10 — an increase from the previous rule of five. This restriction will be in place indefinitely.
The University’s other restrictions — wearing masks, maintaining a physical distance of six feet, limiting visitors and avoiding unnecessary travel — which were extended for an additional two weeks last Tuesday, will remain in place for at least another week.
Dean of Students Allen Groves wrote in an email to students that because the University’s metrics today are “much better” than in September when the restrictions were originally imposed, University leadership is confident that individuals can gather in slightly larger groups without risking the health of one another. According to the University’s COVID-19 dashboard, the daily average number of cases dropped to 14 last week after four weeks at or above 20. There are currently 95 active cases, six of which were reported yesterday.
“As we’ve seen firsthand over the past few weeks, our behavior can impact the trajectory of this virus – for better or worse,” Groves said. “Finishing this semester strong will require everyone to consistently follow current policy and advice to limit gathering size, visitors and unnecessary travel, wear masks, and maintain physical distancing.”
Groves also discussed the ongoing expansion of the University’s testing program — on-Grounds students will now report for saliva screening or nasal swab testing at least once every nine days.
According to Groves, this expansion will be helpful in detecting and eliminating cases in the Charlottesville community, and while an increased number of tests may lead to an increase in positive cases, the University is monitoring these metrics closely and will make further decisions based on the situation and their capability to respond to it.