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The U.Va. Biocomplexity Institute’s COVID-19 model predicts a peak in COVID-19 cases in Virginia in February if the cold weather or new variants continue to increase case growth. Based on current trends as of Jan. 7, these circumstances may cause new cases in Virginia to peak at around 57,000 per week during the week leading up to Feb. 21. If additional measures are taken to control the spread, however, new cases may peak at around 30,000 per week leading up to Jan. 10.
According to the University’s COVID Tracker, U.Va. Health currently has 45 individuals hospitalized due to COVID-19, two of whom were admitted yesterday. Dec. 9 and Dec. 12 marked the largest number of hospitalizations U.Va. Health has seen so far, with 10 individuals admitted both days. The current seven-day moving average is 6.29 hospitalizations, whereas prior to December, the highest seven-day moving average had been roughly four hospitalizations.
United Campus Workers of Virginia at U.Va. — a union open to anyone who receives a paycheck from the University, including students, medical employees, faculty and staff — published a press release Nov. 12 calling for the unionization of hospital employees. According to the press release, the union is seeking to organize hospital workers due to reasons such as “top-down approaches to management, inadequate staffing and subpar wages.”
According to the University’s COVID-19 Tracker, there are currently 66 active cases of COVID-19 in the community — a metric that includes students, faculty, staff and contracted employees. There were 13 positive test results on Wednesday and 15 positive test results on Tuesday, marking an increase from the previous week where the number of positive test results did not exceed 10 on any single day. Active cases represent individuals who tested positive during the past 10 days.
In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed rule to limit the stay of international students in the U.S. to a fixed period of two or four years, the University submitted a comment to the DHS on Oct. 26 urging that the proposed rule be withdrawn.
This semester, first years have been hit with an unprecedented number of obstacles — undergoing dorm-wide testing, being placed in quarantine and isolation rooms and spending their first few months of college with limited social contact while taking classes in front of a computer screen. There have been 232 positive COVID-19 cases in first-year dorms. Currently, University COVID-19 guidelines restrict gatherings to no greater than 10 individuals, mandate mask-wearing and prohibit travel to and from Charlottesville.
For most students, life consists entirely of sitting in front of a laptop for classes, clubs, interviews and social events. As most everyday activities continue to be conducted online and schoolwork becomes synonymous with homework, many students have contracted a new condition — Zoom fatigue. Beyond a lack of motivation to attend and participate in classes online — a classic symptom of Zoom fatigue — students have been facing a multitude of other issues with online learning that have affected their ability to learn effectively, including Internet problems, family issues and problems with mental health. With the variety of outside concerns, coupled with academics, many students have started to consider whether the University’s current grading policy — standard letter grades — should change.
The University’s COVID-19 Tracker reported 22 positive test results Thursday, a number that reflects the number of cases gathered Wednesday through U.Va. Health Analytics, Student Health, Employee Health and testing vendor LetsGetChecked. There has been an average of 13 cases per day so far this week.
The Health System Board of the Board of Visitors met Thursday afternoon to share the work done by U.Va. Health System and the School of Nursing during the COVID-19 pandemic — including providing free testing, PPE and other forms of support to disenfranchised members of the Charlottesville community. The open session was streamed live on YouTube and lasted 42 minutes.
Since August 17, a total of 201 positive coronavirus cases have been reported on the University’s COVID Tracker, 161 of which are student cases. The numbers only include those who have been tested through Student Health & Wellness or a University clinic.
While the return to Grounds is, for many students, a long-awaited escape from home and a hopeful promise that things will soon return to normal, the reality is less exciting for those who are confronted with personal health challenges.
In preparation for the return to Grounds in the fall, Dean of Students Allen Groves sent an email to all students Monday morning with information about ordering free COVID-19 test kits. The University announced last month that all students would be required to submit a self-administered COVID-19 viral PCR test before returning to Grounds.
The international community at the University has expressed deep concern over new regulations by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that restrict international students from entering or remaining in the U.S. if their fall semester will be held entirely online. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program within ICE announced adjustments to their regulations for nonimmigrant students on Monday and requires that schools operating fully online or not reopening must report their status by July 15. Certified schools with modified operations — such as the University, which chose to offer a hybrid of in-person and online instruction — must confirm their plans by August 1.
A list of demands written by U.Va. Survivors in collaboration with Mason for Survivors at George Mason University and Culture of Respect Educators — all groups dedicated to sexual assault prevention — is quickly gaining traction after a series of sexual assault allegations posted by an anonymous Twitter account brought heightened scrutiny to sexual violence on Grounds.
The University will host a Virtual Celebration and Degree Conferral for the Class of 2020 on Saturday, May 16, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The virtual ceremony will feature elements of a traditional Final Exercises, including remarks from University President Jim Ryan and the conferral of degrees, as well as performances from students and two surprise world-class entertainers.
As a result of summer courses being moved online, students have petitioned the University to decrease the cost of summer tuition. Currently, all classes offered during Summer Session I and II have moved to remote instruction, with a decision about Session III — which takes place from July 13 to August 7 — set to be made June 1.
After the release of their new V-sabre mark Thursday, Virginia Athletics is facing controversy regarding a component of the design that references the University’s past use of enslaved labor.
After the University canceled in-person classes for the semester and highly encouraged students not to return to Grounds after spring break, many students found themselves back in their hometowns unexpectedly early. For international students, however, home isn’t simply a three-hour drive or two-hour plane ride away.
Following an emergency meeting of the Board of Visitors Monday evening, fourth-year College student Derrick Wang’s term as student member of the Board is soon to end. He will be succeeded by third-year College student Mazzen Shalaby, whose term begins at the next meeting on June 1.
The University’s Community Food Pantry will be closed for the remainder of the semester, according to an announcement from the pantry’s website Friday night.