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COVID-19 cases increase slightly following beginning of vaccine distribution to students Monday

U.Va. Health is now distributing vaccines to all students, faculty and staff at its COVID-19 Community Vaccination Center

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Fifteen new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed within the University community Wednesday, bringing the total number of active cases to 75 and the total number of cases for the spring semester to 1,871.

Of current cases, 59 are student cases and 16 are cases within faculty and staff, with a total average of 11 new cases between Sunday and Wednesday. This is in comparison to an average of five cases between April 4 and April 10 and nine between March 28 and April 3.

The weekly average positivity rate remains low, with a weekly average positivity of 0.37 percent Wednesday.

Quarantine housing — provided for any student living on Grounds who believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 — is 4 percent occupied while isolation housing — for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 — is 2 percent occupied.

The hospital is currently treating 29 in-house patients with COVID-19, with three new admissions Wednesday, a decrease of six from Tuesday.

University and community vaccination plans

An email sent to all students from Dean of Students Allen Groves Friday announced that U.Va. Health — in coordination with the Blue Ridge Health District — will start vaccinating students. Vaccine distribution began on Monday at the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Center and students are able to make appointments via a secure link that was distributed through email. 

Anyone who has not had an opportunity to schedule an appointment or needs to reschedule a first dose appointment should call the U.Va. COVID Vaccine Call Center at (434) 297-4829. 

Though U.Va. Health originally planned to distribute the Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, an announcement Thursday from Provost Liz Magill and Chief Operating Officer JJ Davis clarified that U.Va. Health will only distribute Pfizer and Moderna until further notice. The change comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an investigation into the Johnson & Johnson vaccines following six cases of a rare blood clotting disease in women ages 18 to 48, which led the Virginia Department of Health and BRHD to pause the use of the vaccine.

Students living in Charlottesville who are not yet fully vaccinated should continue to undergo asymptomatic testing every week, and faculty and staff may schedule asymptomatic saliva testing at any point through Time2Test. Students who have received the vaccine from a provider other than the U.Va. Student Health Vaccine Clinic may upload a picture of their COVID-19 vaccine card to the HealthHoos patient portal and will then be excused from mandatory asymptomatic testing. Students should continue to attend testing until they have been confirmed to have been excused.

The BRHD confirmed 39 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday. The total number of confirmed and probable cases in the district is now 15,039, with 5,491 cases in Albemarle County and 3,960 cases in Charlottesville. The BRHD has provided vaccinations to over 89,000 individuals in phases 1 and 2.