March 30, 2020
Dear Panther Family,
Today, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued a mandatory statewide Stay-at-Home order in an effort to prevent a wider spread of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus. The Governor’s executive order takes effect immediately and will remain in place until June 10, 2020.
Everyone in Virginia is asked to stay home except in extremely limited circumstances, such as:
- to seek medical attention,
- to care for family or household members,
- to obtain goods and services like groceries, prescriptions, or doctor appointments.
The executive order also directs all Virginia public and private colleges/universities to stop in-person classes and instruction. Virginia Union University has already followed this guideline. The order does not restrict essential employees from reporting to work so we do not expect any interruption of services from the VUU Police, at the Library or in the dining hall. The dining hall hours are being changed based on student usage. Beginning tomorrow, lunch will be served from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm and dinner will be served from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm.
Here is additional information about what the order means for VUU if you work or reside on campus:
- All instruction will be virtual through Microsoft TEAMS or the MyVUU Portal.
- You must practice social distancing of at least 6 feet when going to the library or dining hall.
- No gathering in groups on campus.
- The student code of conduct and all policies concerning the coronavirus will be strictly enforced.
- The executive order does allow for essential employees of the university to travel to work. The Office of Human Resources and Talent Management will send out a notice of essential work travel permission letter, which you will be required to keep on your person when traveling to and from work.
- If your supervisor has assigned you to a flex schedule or for telework, you must return your agreement form to your division VP as soon as possible.
You can read the full text of the Governor’s Executive Order Fifty-Five by clicking here.
This executive order is in addition to the order issued last week that prohibits public gatherings of more than 10 people. I ask that you take these precautions seriously and follow all guidelines and policies sent by the university.
With Panther Pride,
Hakim J. Lucas, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Virginia Union University is continuing to monitor updates about “COVID-19,” more commonly known as coronavirus. We are working with Capital Area Health Network (CAHN), our University-based healthcare provider, and following the recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health(VDH) as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As of March 30, 2020, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has confirmed 1,020 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia. The VDH states that "the risk of exposure for members of the public is low, but individual risk is dependent on exposure."
Click here to read the Virginia Union University Corona Virus Memo
Share your travel plans:
We strongly urge students, faculty, and staff after reading the travel information from the CDC site noted above to share any travel plans with us by clicking the following link and submitting the form provided. This will help us to take any additional precautions should the need arise. Please click here to fill out the form.
Below are some informational items for you:
Centers for Disease Control Fact sheet (English)
Informacion (en español)
We want to share a few items of utmost importance.
- We continue to ask everyone to practice healthy habits such as washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds, not sharing drinks or eating utensils, and staying home and getting rest if they are sick. These steps remain the best defense against coronavirus, flu, and other communicable diseases.
- We know that special attention must be given to each of our facilities to ensure they are as clean as possible daily. We will be working with our maintenance and custodial team to take a fresh look at each of our buildings to see if there are any additional cleaning techniques we need to utilize.
- As you enjoy Spring Break, we are asking our University community to exercise special caution with regards to travel, especially as traveling to certain countries could increase the potential risk of exposure. A few things to consider:
- The CDC maintains a Travel Information website related to COVID-19, and specifically recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to countries at Warning Level 3. Note that these ratings can change rapidly.
- We urge faculty, staff, and students who have personal or professional plans to travel either internationally or to affected areas in the U.S. to reconsider their travel. In doing so, we ask each of you to take into account the possibility of travel delays, future quarantines, or prolonged self-isolation when returning from travel to VUU as students, faculty, and staff returning from a level 1, 2, or 3 country should self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
- We strongly urge students, faculty, and staff after reading the travel information from the CDC site noted above to share any travel plans with us by clicking the following link and submitting the form provided. This will help us to take any additional precautions should the need arise. Click here to fill out the form.
The decisions we are making rely heavily on the guidance we are receiving from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health and are intended to protect the health and welfare of our faculty, staff, students, and local community. We recognize the uncertainty this global health issue is creating and are committed to keeping you informed and up-to-date as this situation evolves.
With the wealth of media overload about the coronavirus, it is normal to feel overwhelmed by anxiety, panic, worry, in addition to other things that are on your plate. Here are 5 tips to manage your anxiety.
- Trust your resources: we get a lot of news from social media, friends, family, etc. that can exacerbate things. Panicking about inaccurate information is a waste of time! Think critically about the source, and stay tuned to information provided from VUU. Here’s a link to the CDC that provides up to date briefings. Use this link to learn more about managing anxiety and stress from the CDC.
- Take a news break: staying on top of the news is one way our brains like to feel in control of an out of control situation. However, it’s a shortcut to more stress and worry! What can you do?
- Designate 5-10 minutes in the morning and afternoon to check reliable sources for updates.
- Turn off push notifications from news media outlets.
- Limit time on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Focus on what you can control: when things seen scary and unknown, it’s helpful to focus on what you can control. Here are some practical things you can do:
- Follow handwashing steps
- Get your flu shot
- Keep hand sanitizer in your bag and use it
- Get enough rest
- Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue
- Stay home when you are sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Use healthy coping strategies: taking a break from school, work, etc., is essential for feeling balanced and well. Make sure you are doing something for yourself each other. Here are some ideas:
- Get help if you need it: If you’re tried at least 1-4 coping strategies, anxiety is still causing problems, and experiencing:
- Trouble sleeping or eating
- Problems with focus and attention
- Difficulty going to class or work
- Thoughts about harming or killing yourself
- For employees: reach out to your health insurance provider for a referral to a licensed clinician, for students, contact counseling services at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by Henderson 1013.