Sent on behalf of C. Donald Combs, Vice President and Dean of the School of Health Professions, Chair of the EVMS Ramp-Up Task Force

Although we have developed evidence-based procedures for returning to work and safeguarding ourselves and our colleagues while on campus through the use of social distancing, universal masking and increased hand washing, you are still vulnerable to COVID-19 if you are not practicing these safeguards in your personal lives. Choosing not to wear a mask, ignoring social distancing protocols, and engaging in group activities (whether outdoors or indoors), for example, place you at higher risk for catching the coronavirus.

Over the past week we have had additional reports of employee and student exposures outside campus and positive COVID-19 test results. While these are being handled through our established processes to minimize risk to our faculty, students, residents, fellows, and staff, we believe it is important to remind you of the very real off-campus risks you may encounter. News reports are documenting the rise in coronavirus cases in Hampton Roads. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to practice social distancing, utilize universal masking and increase hand washing in your personal lives.

As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, there will be concerns about what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms, you have been exposed to the virus or think you may have been exposed. We have developed two sets of instructions about what to do. There are different pathways for faculty, staff, residents and fellows and for students. Use the links in the previous sentence to find concise directions for reporting, testing and gaining clearance for a return to campus.
The actions you take at home or in the community pose a risk to your health and impact EVMS. Your health and safety are our top priority, but we would be remiss if we did not also remind you of how your personal activities can impact your colleagues and our academic and clinical operations. Please safeguard yourself, your family, your friends and your EVMS peers.

Thank you for your understanding.