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U.Va. extends indoor mask mandate, will require vaccination or negative COVID-19 test at indoor JPJ events

Leaders will continue to monitor progression of virus and provide an update to this policy Nov. 1

<p>Attendees of ticketed events at the John Paul Jones Arena will also be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result before entering the venue, effective Oct. 18.&nbsp;</p>

Attendees of ticketed events at the John Paul Jones Arena will also be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result before entering the venue, effective Oct. 18. 

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University leaders announced an extension of the University’s indoor mask mandate in a community-wide email sent Friday morning from Provost Liz Magill and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis. Attendees of ticketed events at the John Paul Jones Arena will also be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result before entering the venue, effective Oct. 18. 

“This requirement, along with our indoor mask requirement, will provide added assurance that U.Va. basketball games, concerts and other events at JPJ will not be sources of significant community spread,” the email read. 

The masking policy requires all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask while indoors on University-owned property, including classrooms, libraries, dining halls, IM-Rec facilities and administrative buildings. Exceptions include residence halls, private residences or while actively eating or drinking. 

Cases in the University community have decreased since early September. Though all students were required to get vaccinated — or request a religious or medical exemption — before returning to Charlottesville, only unvaccinated students are required to submit to weekly prevalence testing. All students, faculty and staff are able to submit to free asymptomatic prevalence testing, though some have expressed frustration and confusion with testing capacity earlier this year. Ninety-seven percent of students and 93 percent of faculty are vaccinated.

The emergence of the Delta variant has strained health care resources across Virginia. Beds in COVID-19 units at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital are filling up, although the hospital has not disclosed its capacity. At U.Va. Health, additional intensive care unit teams are being added to COVID-19 units to address case surges.  

As of Thursday, there are 104 active cases of COVID-19 within the University community, according to the University's COVID-19 tracker. Since the start of the fall semester, there have been 603 cases. According to the Blue Ridge Health District portal, there are currently 7,560 cases in Albemarle and 5,096 in Charlottesville.

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