Sent on behalf of Matthew Schenk, Executive Director of Human Resources, and the Continuity of Operations Task Force

The actions that we take, both on and off campus, impact not only our individual health, but also the health of the EVMS community. I want to remind everyone that adherence to social distancing, masking, hand washing and sanitizing protocols, has been demonstrated, both locally and worldwide as an effective way to combat the spread of COVID-19.

I also want to stress that social gatherings create a situation that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to adhere to our safety protocols all the time. For this reason, EVMS continues to ban all EVMS social events. Effective immediately, this includes both formal and informal gatherings. Informal gatherings include groups of EVMS employees meeting socially, outside of working hours, and at off-campus locations. Therefore, any EVMS gathering (formal or informal) that is confirmed as having taken place may result in disciplinary action for all employees in attendance.

While this ban may seem to overstep our traditional distinctions between work and home, it is the result of an unprecedented situation that requires extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of our patients, students and employees. Employee gatherings have more than just potential health implications. If one employee from a social gathering tests positive, all employees from that gathering will need to be removed from the workplace for a period of time. This has the potential to devastate our operations and put extreme pressure on the remaining staff. Thus, while we do not want to interfere with employee’s activities outside of work, the circumstances and everyone’s safety make it necessary for now.

If you have any questions about this issue please contact Matthew Schenk, Executive Director of Human Resources at 757.446.6043 or