August 23, 2021

Sent on behalf of the Continuity of Operations Task Force

Current Status: As we discussed during the Aug. 11 Town Hall, the region continues to experience a surge in the COVID-19 pandemic. Infection rates are increasing, as are hospitalizations, especially among the unvaccinated members of our community. Among the highest areas of risk are workrooms and shared workspaces where some individuals are not masked. Also of greater risk are activities where meals are provided without social distancing among the participants.

Current Directives: The most significant tools we have to continue to provide a safe environment for our students and employees are vaccination and masking. Consequently, we have required universal vaccination and masking. Additionally, food is limited to boxes/bottles and should be provided only when essential to the educational/business activity and when social distancing while eating can be observed. These restrictions are outlined in the August 16, 2021 directive from the Task Force. 

On-Campus and Telework: EVMS continues to deliver on-campus classes and other educational activities as well as remote learning, research and clinical care. Therefore, faculty and staff must have a presence on-campus to provide necessary support.

The EVMS Telework Policy is in effect and allows for up to 3 days telework work weekly for eligible employees with supervisor and HR approval. Telework requests must be initiated by the supervisor and must be submitted by email to EVMSHR@evms.edu.

There are a number of scheduling methods that may also be used along with the hybrid telework model to reduce daily office occupancy. Supervisors will receive additional information on several of these scheduling methods within the next few days.

Flexibility and Adaptability: The Task Force is continuously monitoring the evolution of the pandemic, both locally and nationally. We will advise our community regularly and adapt our directives following the best guidance we have from the CDC, FDA and VDH. We know the constant change is frustrating, but the virus and pandemic context are constantly changing as well.

We are grateful for your understanding and support.