Delta variant prompts continued mask requirement; new arena policy at UVA

Leadership at the University of Virginia confirmed its mask requirements would continue due to strain on the surrounding health care community caused by the delta variant.

In a letter Thursday from two executive vice presidents, Provost Liz Magill and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis, the university announced that everyone, independent of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask when inside a “University-owned or ‐leased spaces.” Residence halls, private residences, or when actively eating or drinking are not included in the policy.

The mask mandate has been in place since students returned on campus in August. 

“Unfortunately, while cases within the UVA community remain low,” the statement said, “the high prevalence of the Delta variant in Central Virginia is straining health care resources in the Charlottesville-Albemarle region.”

Additionally, visitors to ticketed events at John Paul Jones Arena will need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before they enter. That new policy is scheduled to begin on Oct. 18.

The school hopes to modify or lift its mask mandate as soon as it can. School executives wrote that UVA will spend the month of October monitoring the virus and provide another update on or before Nov. 1.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The headline of this story has been updated to clarify that the university is maintaining their mask mandate. 

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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