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New cases of COVID-19 decline steadily for seventh consecutive day – The Cavalier Daily

The weekly average of COVID-19 cases per day for both students and faculty continued a week-long decline through the weekend, with an average of 39.29 cases per day reported Sunday in comparison to 48.43 last week. There are a total of 122 individuals currently hospitalized for COVID-19 at U.Va. Health.

There are 370 active cases of COVID-19 within the University community. Of the 370 cases, 230 are students while 140 are members of the faculty and staff, per the University’s COVID-19 tracker.

While faculty and staff cases of COVID-19 have steadily declined since peaking at a daily caseload of 96 Jan. 11, student cases of COVID-19 increased from a recent low of two new cases Jan. 16 to 35 new cases Friday.

The seven-day average positivity rate this weekend was 12.38 percent, marking the seventh consecutive day with an average positivity over 15 percent. The seven-day average positivity rate among faculty and staff Monday — 14.78 percent — remains slightly higher than the 11.35 percent rate for students.

The seven-day average of individuals tested per day was 317.4 Sunday, with 51 tests administered Sunday and 37 administered Saturday. The seven-day average of individuals tested per day for students remains more than double that of faculty and staff, with students averaging 222.7 tests per day compared to 94.7for faculty and staff. This number only includes tests administered through U.Va. Health or LetsGetChecked and does not take into account other tests.

Fifteen patients were admitted to U.Va. Health with COVID-19 Thursday, dropping the current total of COVID-19 hospitalizations to 122. The seven-day average for new hospitalizations as of Sunday was 18.29.

The University is currently at four percent occupancy for isolation rooms, reserved for those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

In order to return to residential learning, students were required to either submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a booster shot or provide documentation of an approved medical or religious exemption. Attorney General Jason Miyares issued an advisory opinion Friday holding that public universities cannot mandate COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students as a condition of enrollment. University President Jim Ryan addressed the opinion in a University-wide email Monday, adding that the advisory opinion does not hold the same force of law.

Over 99 percent of students have already complied with the University’s vaccination requirements, Ryan said, noting that University leadership decided to leave enrolled students who have not yet compiled with vaccine mandates.

“Because we have such a small number of students who have not yet received the booster, we decided early last week – based on the advice of our student team – that we will not disenroll students who have not yet received their booster, but will continue to encourage them to do so,” Ryan said.

Following the previous Jan. 14 deadline for students and employees to submit either proof of vaccination or proof of a medical or religious exemption, 99 percent of students are fully vaccinated while 85 percent of employees have received booster shots.

While the University previously required all faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated — and the University announced a booster requirement prior to the start of the spring semester, the University will no longer require faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, per an email sent Jan. 19 to University employees by University President Jim Ryan, Provost Liz Magill, Chief Operation Officer JJ Davis and K. Craig Kent, executive vice president for health affairs.

In the Blue Ridge Health District, 72.5 percent of individuals have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 65.9 percent of individuals are fully vaccinated. In addition to those fully vaccinated, 36.3 percent have been vaccinated with a third booster dose.

New public health measures in effect this semester include a temporary ban on all food and beverages at University-affiliated events, a mandatory five-day isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19 in accordance with updated Center for Disease Control guidance and a continuation of the mask mandate for all indoor spaces. University leadership will provide an update on these policies by the end of the week.

Asymptomatic testing is currently located in the basement of Newcomb Hall by appointment only Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8 am through 4:30 pm and Wednesday 7:30 am through 4:30 pm Asymptomatic employee testing is available at the Jefferson Park Medical Office Building on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 am through 9 am Students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should schedule testing through their HealthyHoos portal, whereas faculty members experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms should contact Employee Health.

The University’s COVID-19 tracker is updated every weekday at 4 pm

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