VCU Together Update for faculty and staff - Nov. 20

Tips for making virtual festive, required training for spring semester and more

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 Receive notifications by downloading VCU Mobile from your iOS or Android app store.

Opt for virtual holiday gatherings over in-person

As we enter the holiday season and continue to redouble our efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we need to rethink the way we celebrate special occasions in 2020. We recognize there is COVID-19 fatigue in our classrooms, workplaces and communities. There is no doubt that it’s been a challenging year, and now, more than ever, we want to celebrate with a bit of normalcy. Here are a few ideas to make your virtual celebrations festive:

  • Ask friends to find and use winter virtual backgrounds during the video event.
  • Create a Zoom poll for friends to vote on their favorite virtual background.
  • Join using an extra computer showing a toasty fireplace video to share warmth.
  • Send pre-baked gingerbread houses to friends, and spend the time together making them and selecting winners.
  • Play virtual holiday bingo: birthdays in December, holiday puns, winter-themed movies and more.
  • Play a holiday-themed trivia game, or join an online escape room.
  • Watch a holiday film during the video event, and use the chat feature to provide fun commentary.
  • And spread kindness when possible: Brainstorm community needs, find out what’s being accepted and collect items to help a local charity or organization serving those in need.

Clarification regarding daily health checks during fall/winter break

All employees must continue to monitor their health and complete daily health checks for the days they are scheduled to work through the end of the semester, even those employees who telework. Once winter break begins and through the university’s winter closing (Dec. 21, 2020-Jan. 1, 2021), only designated employees who are working on-campus will be required to complete daily health checks.

Why is the health check so important?

Whether teleworking or working on campus, you are a member of the VCU community. VCU tracks cases both on and off campus, and by doing the health check, it helps remind employees to monitor their health daily. If symptoms present, by answering yes, you then receive instructions for getting in contact with Employee Health and can discuss next steps. These steps also include resources/guidance for working with your manager to help ensure continuity.

Remember to call 1-804-MYCOVID to speak with Employee Health even if your health care provider outside of VCU instructs you to quarantine.

More information is available on the HR website:

Required Reboarding@VCU employee training for spring semester

The Reboarding@VCU training will be available in Talent@VCU and Blackboard when VCU returns from the winter closing on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. All VCU employees and students are required to complete this training by Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, the beginning of the spring semester. Managers are encouraged to complete the refreshed Reboarding@VCU manager training as well.

No weekly update for Nov. 27; updates to resume Dec. 4

VCU's regularly scheduled Weekly Together Update will take a break along with the rest of the university on Nov. 27. Look for the next update to hit your inbox on Dec. 4. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

View graphic versionView graphic version