Emailed on March 13, 2020
Sent on behalf of Richard V. Homan, MD, President and Provost, Dean of the School of Medicine
As a school of medicine and health professions, we have a responsibility to our patients, community, students, faculty, residents and staff to do all that we can to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, in keeping with our steadfast commitment to the health and wellbeing of the EVMS community and in line with recommendations from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health, we will be taking the following steps:
- I am activating the EVMS Continuity of Operations Plan.
- All classes for the School of Health Professions will be delivered completely online beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, and possibly continuing through the end of the semester. Programs will communicate specific requirements and other vital information directly to students.
- All M1 and M2 classes will be delivered online beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, immediately following spring break and possibly continuing through the end of the semester. You will be hearing from deans and professors over the next few days with details about your classes and assessments that may require alternative arrangements.
- M3 and M4 students will continue in clinical duties with these restrictions: Students will not be allowed to care for patients with COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19; students will not be allowed in the emergency department or urgent care clinics; students will not be allowed to see any new patients who have not been screened or triaged for COVID-19. Please consult www.evms.edu/covid-19 for specific directions.
- Faculty and staff should report to work as usual during this time and take the recommended steps to prevent illness. Updates to this directive, including information about the telecommuting policy, are available at www.evms.edu/covid-19. We will continue to monitor this fluid situation and may activate mandatory remote work activities as needed. I encourage chairs, program directors and supervisors to begin evaluating which employees could work remotely and to encourage those employees to do so. Managers need to communicate with Human Resources and complete the appropriate documentations.
- All institutionally sponsored events beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, and until further notice have been canceled. This includes Match Day. We intend to make a decision about commencement-week activities by March 27, 2020.
- All domestic and international travel for conferences, meetings, events and awards is prohibited until further notice.
- There will be no life support classes available through the Sentara Center for Immersive Learning at EVMS until further notice.
These are obviously significant changes for our institution, but to be clear, the campus, as well as EVMS Medical Group, will remain open. The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, which means our plans may change quickly. Therefore, updates will be sent to your institutional email and will be posted on www.evms.edu/covid-19. I realize that you likely have questions about this decision and about COVID-19. I encourage you to visit this website today and regularly, as it provides a wealth of information and resources.
Without question, this is a defining public-health moment for us all.
I want to assure you that we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and are participating in statewide conference calls with our medical school counterparts. We also are receiving messages from Gov. Northam’s office and are following CDC guidelines and recommendations.
EVMS is privileged to protect and improve the health of Hampton Roads, its workforce and our campus community. I appreciate your patience and support as we navigate this uncharted territory. Most importantly, I thank you for your willingness to do your part to safeguard the health of the community.