COVID-19 Informational Update on State Requirements and Recommendations (Message from President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. to RUC Faculty and Staff)

Dear Faculty and Staff:

I hope each of you had a relaxing and safe Thanksgiving holiday and are preparing for a joyous remainder of the holiday season. As we conclude 2020 and welcome a New Year, the Commonwealth of Virginia continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 global health pandemic and its impact on local communities, broader regions, and the entire state. In accordance with this steadfast commitment, Governor Northam announced a series of new requirements and recommendations earlier today.

Most importantly, the Governor issued a modified stay at home order from midnight to 5:00 AM beginning this Monday (December 14, 2020) through Sunday, January 31, 2021. In accordance with the Governor’s order, all individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence during the aforementioned hours with exceptions for obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, or seeking medical attention. In addition to the required hours, the Governor is encouraging Virginians to remain at home as much as possible in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Other enhanced restrictions include changing the gathering limitation from 25 individuals to 10 individuals. In response to today’s announcement from the Governor, the gathering limitation at Radford University Carilion will be 10 individuals, which is consistent with the gathering limitation for main campus. The limitation applies to various activities, including events and meetings, but does not apply to instruction in classroom, laboratory, or clinical settings.

The Governor also shared universal masking requirements, including the continuous wearing of face coverings indoors in both business and school environments unless one is working independently in his or her own office or workspace. Please note that face coverings should be worn outside at all times when six feet of physical distancing is not possible around others. The Governor also encouraged the consideration of telework arrangements for appropriate individuals, especially those in which all assignments can be fulfilled in their totality from a remote environment.

Radford University was successful in our collective efforts to limit COVID-19 among our campus community due to the many precautions that were put in place. Those critical measures will remain in place for the Spring 2021 semester. As previously shared on a number of occasions, our University is fully committed to providing an in-person experience, while being focused on the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as the broader community.

In recent weeks, we have drastically reduced population density with the departure of both students and faculty for the semester break. Additionally, a number of staff have opted to utilize accumulated leave to extend the upcoming break associated with the holiday closure. Despite the surge of COVID-19 cases in the region and throughout the Commonwealth, we have continued to provide a safe working environment for all Highlanders. And, we will continue to do so in moving forward together for the Spring 2021 semester and beyond!

With Highlander Pride,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.