January 22, 2021

UMW Spring Semester 2021 Announcement

A message from the COVID-19 Co-Coordinators:

To members of the UMW Community:

We hope this message finds you well as we begin this new year and that you have had a safe and healthy holiday season. We are excited about the start to the spring semester and students’ return to campus and have some important updates to share regarding the next few weeks.

Throughout the winter break, the COVID-19 Implementation Team has been in close contact with local public health and health care officials, as well as colleagues around the Commonwealth. We are carefully monitoring the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, a rising number of hospitalizations, an increase in the positivity rate and the overall strain this is placing on our regional health care providers. We have been informed that area hospitals, as well as those up and down the I-95 corridor, are either at or beyond capacity.

And while the longer-term news is quite good with the promise of multiple vaccines on the horizon, the situation on the ground at this time, and for the next few weeks, is very fluid. Current projections have identified a post-holiday peak in cases at the end of this month or early next month. It is simply too soon to tell where things will stand on January 25, our planned first day of on-campus instruction.

Consequently, and in an abundance of caution, we will delay our return to campus for the spring semester by one week.

  • All spring-term classes will start remotely on January 25 as previously scheduled, however the first day of on-campus instruction will now be February 1.
  • Where possible, employees – as determined by departmental needs in conversation with their supervisors – will continue telework through the end of January and campus buildings will remain locked until February 1.
  • Move-in for residential students will be pushed back by one week until January 30-31. Further details for residential students will be provided by Residence Life. Students with extenuating circumstances should contact the Office of Residence Life.

We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust accordingly. If worst case projections materialize, we may need to revisit these plans in order to provide a bit more time to get past the current crest of cases. By January 20, we plan to announce any additional revisions or confirm the February 1 return to in-person instruction and prior move-in information.

Sign-up information for COVID-19 testing for both residential and off-campus students will be distributed at that time. While this delay is not something any of us wished for, we make these changes with the firm belief that the worst of the pandemic will soon be behind us and UMW’s return to some sense of normalcy is in sight.

 

Sincerely,

Jeff McClurken and Tim O’Donnell
COVID-19 Co-coordinators

When the Pandemic Struck, UMW Persevered

UMW sophomore Andrew Newman poses on a Campus Walk bench. The University community pulled together this fall to follow MMDC (monitor, mask, distance and clean) guidelines and minimize the number of COVID-19 cases on campus. Increased pandemic-related measures will be employed this spring.

UMW sophomore Andrew Newman poses on a Campus Walk bench. The University community pulled together this fall to follow MMDC (monitor, mask, distance and clean) guidelines and minimize the number of COVID-19 cases on campus. Increased pandemic-related measures will be employed this spring.

Eager to begin her college career at Mary Washington, Sarah Bazemore moved into Willard Hall in September, stocking her room with masks and sanitizer.

Little did she know that she would end her first semester living in Marshall Hall under quarantine. Bazemore and two of her friends were among several dozen students who were either exposed to or came down with COVID-19 in fall 2020.

Even so, she rated the entire semester an A+. “I am so grateful I had the opportunity to be on campus this fall, and I’m beyond impressed with the way UMW handled COVID-19,” she said. “Even when we entered quarantine, there was a plan. At no time was I unable to get the support I needed or an answer to my questions.”

Only 40 students utilized the more than 100 designated quarantine/isolation rooms on campus. That, added Bazemore, “says a lot about the student body and our administration. We followed MMDC (monitor, mask, distance and clean) and did all we could to keep COVID-19 away from UMW.”

Plenty of planning and extreme vigilance paid off. While the pandemic rages across the globe, the University ended up with fewer than 50 COVID cases since the end of August.

“I’m filled with pride by the way the Mary Washington community has thus far risen to this challenge,” said President Troy Paino. “We have proven something to ourselves: We can adapt, innovate and persevere.” Read more.

Seeking Assistance in Providing COVID-19 Support

A message from the COVID-19 Monitoring and Tracing Coordinator.

Dear Colleagues,

Greetings from the COVID Care team!  

One of the lessons we learned this fall is that we need more help and numerous backups to ensure smooth operation of our testing, tracing and student support services. We have designed a survey for individuals who would be interested in serving in one of several volunteer or part-time positions for the spring semester. If you are so inclined, please complete the survey accessible through this form. We will reach out to individuals who expressed an interest in helping upon our return after winter break.

Please note that the link works best in Chrome or Firefox and you will need to sign in using your UMW credentials to complete it.  

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at COVID19@umw.edu. 

Sincerely,

David W. Fleming
Assistant Dean for Residence Life and Housing
COVID-19 Monitoring and Tracing Coordinator

Required Spring Semester COVID-19 Training for faculty and staff

The following message is from the COVID-19 Implementation Team.

To all faculty and staff:

Welcome to 2021, which we believe to be a more hope-filled year. We are looking forward to having students back on campus for the spring semester, and we appreciate your continued hard work and flexibility. In keeping with our goal of minimizing risk, you are required to complete by Wednesday, January 13, 2021, the following COVID-19 related steps. This requirement applies even if you are joining us virtually.

  1. Take the Spring COVID-19 training in the Learning Center and sign-off on the Eagle Pledge. Instructions are at the bottom of this email.
  2. Fill out the Eagle Health Survey every day unless you are furloughed. The Eagle Health Survey will be emailed to your UMW inbox every morning.
  3. In order to create a healthier environment for all members of the University community, please limit your activities, interactions, and travel for 14 days prior to returning to campus to reduce your potential exposure to the virus. This includes adhering to UMW’s MMDC guidelines as well as all federal, state, CDC guidelines.

To access the COVID training (please use Firefox or Chrome):

Login to the Learning Center at https://covlc.virginia.gov using your Learning Center credentials. These credentials may not be the same as your UMW credentials; to reset your login ID or password use the “forgot your login ID or password” option to reset either or both.

  1. Once you are logged into https://covlc.virginia.gov, enter UMWCOVID in the search box (magnifying glass in the upper right).
  2. Open UMW COVID-19 Training 2021.
  3. You will see three items, two of which you must complete.
  • Select the appropriate UMW COVID training module (for either new or continuing employees). Read the content in the presentation, then mark the item complete.
  • Access the Eagle Pledge. Once you have read the Eagle Pledge, mark the item complete.  Doing so indicates that you have read the document and will comply with it.

If you need assistance logging into the Learning Center, please reach out to Pam Lowery (plowery@umw.edu).

Remember to #ProtectTheNest by following MMDCMonitor. Mask. Distance. Clean.

Thank you.