Returning to Grounds - HR Guidance

Return To Grounds - Academic Faculty & Staff, HR Operations

As we prepare to return to Grounds, UVA Human Resources’ guiding principle is to help put the necessary measures in place to safeguard the health of UVA employees. To accomplish this, we have engaged expertise from across Grounds and beyond to modify practices, policies, and workspaces. Grounds may look and feel a little different, so we will need to work together and be flexible as we embark on this uncharted territory.

Below you will find human resources related information in the form of FAQs and support resources to assist Academic Division employees in returning to Grounds. This page will be updated continually as new information becomes available so please check back frequently.

Symptomatic COVID-19 Testing & Notification Procedures for ACD

Testing procedures and notifications have been developed for when an Academic Division (including SOM and SON) faculty or staff member is suspected of having COVID-19 or self-reports as having COVID-19. It outlines the necessary action steps for the supervisor and the employee when the test results come back as either positive or negative.

Please see this webpage for the symptomatic ACD COVID-19 Testing Process (this page is behind NetBadge).

FAQs - Safety & Operations

  • What are the University’s COVID-19 testing policy be for faculty and staff?

    We have created, in concert with the Virginia Department of Health, a comprehensive COVID-19 testing plan for UVA faculty, staff.  

    • Faculty and staff who are on Grounds are required to track their symptoms daily using an app.
    • We will continue to offer testing to anyone who exhibits symptoms.
    • In addition, we will make available voluntary testing for faculty, staff, contract employees who are concerned and may not exhibit symptoms.  These tests will be available through an online schedule.
    • In partnership with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), UVA will help support voluntary testing of community members.
    • We are working closely with the Virginia Department of Health to effectively trace contacts of anyone who contracts the virus.
    • Once classes start, we will perform testing and other monitoring to assess the prevalence of viral infections; we will be monitoring Grounds closely and respond with increased testing to detect any asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic cases anywhere where our examinations suggest there might be a cluster of cases.


  • Will UVA require employees to wear face masks on Grounds?

    Yes. See Policy SEC-045  which governs face coverings on Grounds during the declared emergency. Face coverings must be worn by all faculty, staff, and students while inside a University facility or otherwise inside a building on University Grounds or on any University property when in the presence of others (e.g., common work spaces, meeting rooms, etc.). Face masks must also be worn on University transit buses.

    Note that both federal and state law allow employers to direct employees to wear face coverings. The CDC currently recommends face coverings for all employees while they are in public spaces. The Governor’s Executive Order requires masks unless an exception applies.

  • Will the University provide face coverings?

    Yes, see Policy SEC-045, The University will provide two cloth face coverings per faculty, staff, and student working or studying in a University facility or on University Grounds. A disposable mask will be provided by the University should the faculty, staff, or student forget to bring their own. Individuals are responsible for laundering the face covering as necessary (as outlined in the policy). Disposable masks must only be worn for one day and then disposed of in the trash. Individuals may provide their own face covering for their personal use.


  • How will face covering rules under Policy SEC-045 be enforced?

    Compliance for these policies will be difficult to enforce and will rely heavily on social norms campaigns, active bystander engagement, and University community ownership. While informal compliance will be the primary method of enforcement and is vitally important to the University’s success in maintaining a safe working and learning environment, a more formal reporting and response process is available to managers.

  • Are there any exceptions to the face covering requirement?

    Yes, UVA Policy SEC-045 contains a provision that outlines exemptions to the face covering policy:

      • A person eating and drinking at a food and beverage establishment on University Grounds.
      • A person seeking to communicate with a hearing-impaired person, for which the mouth needs to be visible.
      • Anyone with a health condition that keeps them from wearing a face covering.
      • Any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
      • A person in need of University or medical services may temporarily remove the face covering.
    • Please note that the Virginia state guidelines require equipment and people to be 10 feet apart while exercising. You are not required to wear a mask while actively exercising (e.g. running on a treadmill).
  • What is the procedure when an employee is feeling sick in the workplace?

    If an employee is feeling sick or experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, they should focus on taking care of yourselves immediately. UVA is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all. Academic Division employees should first speak with their manager, and then should go home immediately and seek appropriate medical attention, per CDC guidelines. Once their medical status is determined (infected or not with COVID-19), see the UVA HR website for leave policy guidance.

    If an employees does not have a primary care physician (PCP) they should contact UVA Employee Health at 434-924-2013. Employee Health will triage, screen, and contact the COVID Clinic to set up an evaluation if needed. Employees who work outside of the immediate Charlottesville/Albemarle area should contact their PCP rather than Employee Health.

  • Where can Employees find more information on changes to Parking and Transportation?

    Due to social distancing requirements, University Transit System capacity will be reduced by more than half. In addition, some parking designations and prices will be modified to create more flexible options. Detailed information will be available on the Parking & Transportation website in July.


Remote Work and Leave Considerations

  • What are the current plans for faculty and staff to return to work on grounds?

    • Faculty and staff are encouraged to continue telecommuting (remote work).
    • Managers will determine which functions and roles should be performed on Grounds and may consider a phased approach for return to in-person work. Managers will develop plans to meet the business needs of the University for the fall term.
    • Managers may consider Alternative Work Schedules to stagger schedules and maintain appropriate social distancing.

    Telecommuting will continue to be supported in areas where work can be performed remotely. Remote work is a key component to reduce density and limit the spread of COVID-19, and managers are strongly encouraged to continue remote work if it is appropriate for the position in accordance with the University’s remote work policy

  • What Approvals are necessary for remote or alternate work schedules?

    • Any arrangement for remote work must have manager approval and may be done on a full or partial day/week schedule as appropriate.
    • Staffing plans require alignment and approval of local leadership. Managers will coordinate with the respective dean/vice president/vice provost to ensure a coordinated effort.
  • How will the University handle faculty and staff requests for accommodation or modifications in light of COVD-19?

    We will make every effort to grant requests from faculty, graduate teaching assistants, and staff requests to work or teach remotely or for other reasonable accommodations or modifications in light of COVID-19. We are mindful that individual circumstances make some individuals more vulnerable than others to the effects of this disease. As always, employees entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act will receive them. Beyond that, we will prioritize requests for modifications from faculty and staff who are at higher risk for severe illness, as well as anyone with a household member at higher risk. Outside of those categories, we will make every effort to grant reasonable modification requests. As deans, department chairs, and managers plan for the fall, they will work with Employee Relations and Business Partners to honor faculty and staff requests while considering the impact on and constraints of research, curricular, student, and workplace needs. We are keenly aware that each individual and unit of the University is as unique in our needs, constraints, and opportunities for flexibility as we are united in the common goal of excellence in teaching, research, and patient care.

    Just as faculty and staff may currently request modifications directly from their dean, department chair, or supervisor, those comfortable making COVID-19-related requests through those channels are free to do so. Anyone concerned about privacy may instead submit this Request for Workplace Modification Form to Employee Relations. Schools and units will follow up with additional details about implementation and timing.

  • What types of leave may I take regarding COVID-19?

    Please see the HR Managing Leave During the Coronavirus webpage. for the latest information on available COVID-19 leave types. 

  • What options will staff have if K-12 schools do not go back full-time in the spring?

    Schedule accommodations and remote work agreements are primarily addressed at the school or unit level. Managers will determine which jobs cannot be performed remotely. For those positions, managers can work with employees and UVA HR to assess the option of temporary modification and available leave options.

    For any job that can be performed remotely managers are encouraged to work with employees to assess potential options.  

    Additional information may be provided as the school year draws closer and more is known about school schedules. 

FAQs - ACD Manager Specific

Support Resources