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University-wide gathering limits increased to 25 indoors, 75 outdoors

Students are still expected to wear masks and practice social distancing

<p>Students are still expected to practice social distancing by remaining six feet apart and must comply with all other University policies, including wearing masks.&nbsp;</p>

Students are still expected to practice social distancing by remaining six feet apart and must comply with all other University policies, including wearing masks. 

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The University has decided to increase the indoor gathering limit from six to 25 people and the outdoor limit from 25 to 75 people, effective immediately, Dean of Students Allen Groves announced in a University-wide email sent Monday evening. This decision came as a result of low COVID-19 case counts in the University community over the past several weeks.

“This change is possible because members of our community have worked to limit the spread of the virus by wearing masks, staying physically separated, complying with testing requirements, and getting vaccinated as soon as possible,” Groves said. “We believe it is now safe to gather in larger numbers, but only as long as we all continue to follow these public health measures as strictly as we have all year.”

Students are still expected to practice social distancing by remaining six feet apart and must comply with all other University policies, including wearing masks. 

Groves encouraged students to use the new gathering limits “responsibly” and said he hopes to see clubs, organizations, teams and groups of friends connect more with one another in-person as the end of the semester approaches. The last day of classes is May 6.

He also noted that many students are “anxiously awaiting” the opportunity for an in-person component of Final Exercises — in April, the University announced plans to hold Final Exercises in-person for the class of 2021 as well as a special ceremony for the class of 2020. 

Thirty-three cases of COVID-19 were reported on the University’s COVID-19 tracker last week with only one case returning positive results over the weekend, bringing the total number of active cases to 42. The University’s seven-day positivity rate for new cases has decreased to 0.26 percent following several weeks of low positivity rates — from 0.43 percent the week of April 4 to 0.46 percent the week of April 11.

Many students have begun to receive first doses of the vaccine through U.Va. Health — all Virginians over the age of 16 became eligible for the vaccine April 18, and the University began scheduling student vaccine appointments April 12.

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