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UVa students chastised for ignoring anti-COVID measures

November 17, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Cases, complaints also increase in the community as well.

University of Virginia administrators are looking into reports of large student gatherings at which COVID-control rules are ignored as the fall semester winds down, including reported events this week and one last week at a local winery. Charlottesville residents have reported numerous parties in the Rugby Road area with students ignoring masking, attendance limits and social distancing.

Grove sent a message Sunday reminding students that they agreed to follow school-mandated anti-COVID measures and that violations will be referred to the University Judiciary Committee. “Last week, we received a concerning report of a very large gathering of students at a local winery in Albemarle County in which none of the critical public health requirements were followed by those in attendance.

They said that’s not odd as complaints are often directed to the university if it involves recognized UVa student organizations or groups clearly composed of students. The district has, however, seen COVID cases caused by community gatherings and events. “We’ve seen an increase in cases from large social gatherings and from smaller social gatherings, as well,” said Kathryn Goodman, health district spokeswoman.

“It’s possible to spread COVID any time you have even two households meeting together and that’s a concern as the holidays approach. ”District statistics show that since Nov. 1, there have been 53 complaints of face mask noncompliance at grocery and convenience stores; 45 at retail stores; two at breweries and wineries; two at barber/beauty shops, five at gyms and three at recreational sporting events. Officials said they received 116 complaints aimed at restaurants but determined many were invalid or unsubstantiated. Of the 2,504 complaints the local health district has received since the pandemic began, 2,362 are about failure to wear face masks. At UVa, complaints are handled through the school’s judiciary committee and are divided into three types.

“It seems like COVID has been here a long time and we’re all tired of it and that includes those of us who deal with it every day. ”Groves warned students that the restrictions are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, not just at UVa but also in their home communities. “The pandemic is far from over despite recent promising news in vaccine development and our lower-than-national average case numbers in the local health district,” he wrote.

He said they should stay at home once they get there. “Back-and-forth travel puts yourself and many others at risk, especially at a time when cases are increasing and resources are being strained in many parts of the country,” he wrote. UVa students will be required to test for COVID-19 prior to returning in February, Grove said.

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