VCU Together Update for students - Jan. 22

8 things to know about the start of the spring semester

Our priorities are the health, safety and wellness — both physical and emotional — of every member of the VCU community. VCU continues to monitor, assess and address situations as they arise. This weekly update will be a resource to help keep you informed as details become available. All updates are available at together.vcu.edu. Receive notifications by downloading VCU Mobile from your iOS or Android app store.

Here are eight things to know as you get ready for the start of the semester.

1. Double check your course schedule

Double-check your course schedule in eServices after today, Jan. 22, when the final Spring 2021 Schedule of Classes is finalized, to see if any of your in-person or hybrid classes have converted modalities. Some faculty may change the modality of their courses to a virtual format for the full semester in order to minimize any disruption to instruction that would occur during a transition from virtual instruction to face-to-face, if we are able to return to on-campus instruction.

You can add a course to your schedule through Feb. 1 and drop a course through Feb. 8 on eServices. Financial Aid recipients should strive to have their schedules finalized by Feb. 1 in order to maximize financial aid opportunities.

2. Studios, laboratories and other campus facilities will be open

Laboratories, studios and student housing will be open with safety protocols in place. Most campus buildings will require card access. Check appropriate websites for hours of operation for community spaces such as campus dining centers, VCU Libraries, and the University Student Commons, Larrick Center and Hunton Student Center.

Information about the new , which begins Jan. 25, is included in the One VCU: Responsible Together training in Talent@VCU as well as on the Together.vcu.edu website.

3. Experiential learning activities can continue

Off-campus academic activities may continue. The Health and Safety Acknowledgement form, which has been updated for spring 2021, is required for students participating in off-campus, non-clinical academic activities.

4. The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to students began last week, starting with eligible clinical students

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to students began Jan. 12, 2021, starting with eligible clinical students in VCU programs. “Clinical students” are in the patient care phase of their education or providing care in patient-facing environments. This initial group includes students in patient-facing environments from VCU School of Medicine, VCU School of Nursing, VCU School of Pharmacy, VCU School of Dentistry, VCU College of Health Professions, VCU School of Social Work, and a few students from the departments of psychology, kinesiology and health sciences at VCU’s College of Humanities and Sciences. VCU students, unless otherwise eligible as part of groups 1a through 1c, will be eligible when the vaccine becomes widely available for the general population. Refer to the frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines for more information.

5. COVID-19 testing sites are open

Symptomatic testing is available Monday through Friday. Asymptomatic testing sites for at-will testing and surveillance testing are open Monday through Thursday.

6. Mandatory asymptomatic surveillance testing begins

Beginning this week, asymptomatic surveillance testing (previously referred to as "prevalence" testing) is mandatory for residential students, students who attend on-campus classes. The decision to start classes virtually does not impact this requirement. Students should check the revised Schedule of Classes as of Jan. 22 to determine the modality of their courses  if the schedule indicates that a course will resume in-person or hybrid once VCU returns to in-person, the student will be required to participate in the testing. VCU samples asymptomatic VCU community members for testing each week in order to monitor COVID-19 within the VCU community. If you are selected to participate, you will receive an email from covidtest@vcu.edu that includes instructions for setting up your Kallaco portal, links to available appointment slots and other information to help you prepare for your COVID-19 test. If you are selected to participate, you must schedule your test and attend your testing appointment.

7. Responsible Together Course is due Jan. 25

All students are required to complete this course by Monday, Jan. 25, or by the time they return to campus. Students must complete this course even if they completed the Return to Campus training in the fall. To access the training in Blackboard, find the “Responsible Together Course” in your list of “My Courses.” Click on the course to open it, and click on Assignments to access the full course content. If you aren’t enrolled in the course, please email dsa@vcu.edu.

8. Look for these VCU email addresses related to COVID-19 information

VCU developed several new processes in an effort to safely learn and work during the pandemic. As a result, you may receive emails from one or more of the following accounts:

  • together@vcu.edu: Timely updates and information about VCU’s operational changes during COVID-19 will continue to come from this email address.
  • healthcheck@vcu.edu: Daily reminder and link to complete required health checks.
  • covidtest@vcu.edu: You will receive an email from this address if you are selected to participate in mandatory asymptomatic surveillance testing.
  • vaccine@vcu.edu: If you are identified as eligible to receive the vaccine, you will receive an email from this address.
  • noreply@kalla.co: If this is your first time participating in COVID-19 testing through VCU, you will receive an email from Kallaco with instructions for setting up your account. Kallaco is the company that provides an online portal for you to access your test results.

As always, contact VCU Technology Services if you suspect phishing activity.

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