Dear members of the VCU Community,
We want to express how happy we are to begin another academic year and to thank you for taking important steps to protect yourselves and other members of the community as you return to campus. VCU is committed to doing all we reasonably can to promote a safe and successful fall semester for our students, faculty and staff.
As you know, reducing the spread of COVID-19 requires changes in our daily lives. We must physically distance, wear clean masks inside of buildings and outside in high-traffic spaces, wash our hands frequently and sanitize common spaces before and after we use them. We also must limit the size of in-person gatherings. Through these measures and by submitting your daily health survey each day, you are doing your part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Students and employees can access the survey either through their email, VCUMobile app or by logging into the following website: https://dailyhealth.vcu.edu/.
In a community as large and diverse as VCU, we are likely to see rumors on social media or hear rumors shared by friends about outbreaks, building evacuations and campus closures. Rumors can cause concern in our community. That’s why we’re pleased to announce our new COVID-19 dashboard, a tool that provides transparent details about the number of positive cases in our community and additional numbers related to testing, numbers of those in quarantine and in isolation. The dashboard will be updated daily Monday through Friday and will be the most accurate way to track COVID-19 at VCU.
It is important to note that VCU will not widely communicate details about individual cases to the community or to media out of respect for the privacy of any COVID-19 patients. Working with our partners in the Virginia Department of Health, our Student Health and Employee Health offices will work to notify individuals reported to them who may have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 so that they may monitor their own health symptoms and self-quarantine.
While we are pleased that most people in our community are adhering to the steps necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it is important to remind everyone that we must also remain vigilant when off campus as well. We become more vulnerable when we attend large parties or social gatherings without proper physical distancing and not wearing masks. As a reminder, students hosting parties or other personal gatherings on or off-campus with more than 10 people are subject to interim suspension. All participants are subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.
So, please limit your social interactions to gatherings of fewer than 10 people. Practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet and always wear a mask. These steps may not be convenient, but following safe practices on and off campus may protect your health and the health of those around you and enable our ability to continue our academic in-person activities. That’s what Rams do. Remember, we are “One VCU: Responsible Together.”
President, VCU and VCU Health System
Gail Hackett, Ph.D.
Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Senior Vice President & Interim CEO, VCU Health System