Coronavirus Information and School Operations

About - Return to Grounds - Staff FAQ

FAQ for Staff

Darden's return to Grounds in fall 2020 and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have created a number of changes to the School's operations and questions for Darden stakeholders. This webpage provides answers to frequently asked questions relevant to Darden School staff.

The FAQ provides answers based on the latest plans and information available. Information may change based on the spread of COVID-19, the advice of public health experts or an order by the Virginia Department of Health. The top priority will always be keeping our community safe — and we will continue to update FAQ pages and other communications to inform you as circumstances require adjustments. Questions for leadership? Fill out this form. For communication questions or to offer suggestions related to the Return to Darden Grounds website, please write to [email protected].

General Information

  • How are Darden and the University of Virginia keeping students, parents, faculty and staff informed?

    Darden is communicating regularly with our community through email, alerts and this website. The University is communicating on a broad array of topics for students, student families, faculty and staff, and managers and supervisors on its Return to Grounds website and Fall 2020 Student Resource site.

    Please direct specific questions NOT addressed through these resources as follows:

    • Staff: Refer specific questions to your immediate manager or supervisor.
    • Faculty: Refer questions to program or faculty leadership.
    • Students:
      • If you need medical attention, contact UVA Student Health at +1-434-982-3915 or +1-434-297-4261 after hours.
      • For housing-related questions, student groups or general safety, contact a member of Darden’s Office of Student Affairs or UVA’s Office of the Dean of Students at +1-434-924-7133.
      • For issues related to advising, credits or course registration, contact the relevant dean for your program or Darden Registrar Terri Smith.
      • Questions about accommodations because of physical or mental disabilities would go to SDAC in Student Health at +1-434-342-5188.
  • Who can return to Darden Grounds while operations are impacted by the coronavirus?

    All employees — including faculty and staff — who are not already identified as essential to continuity of operations should not come to the Darden Grounds in Charlottesville or Arlington, Virginia, until the School provides guidance on returning to the workplace. If you are a member of faculty or staff and believe you have an essential reason to access Grounds, please reach out to your manager first; requests must be approved by the Dean’s Office.

    On 17 June, the University of Virginia provided an update outlining plans for returning to Grounds and launched two new websites to provide updated information and answer key questions:
  • If I share an office with a colleague, what protocols must I observe? My shared office is too small to be six feet apart from my colleagues. Are we going to be working in the same office?

    During Phase I, Darden has phased and staggered employees so they will not have to share an office space at the same time. 

    Office partitions will be installed to maintain social distance in certain shared office spaces. In addition, face coverings must be worn any time employees are in the presence of others.

  • My job function has been deemed able to return to Grounds. When can I expect to be back on Grounds? 

    HR is currently reaching out to supervisors to inform them who and when certain job functions will be required on Grounds to support teaching in August.  

  • My job does not currently require me to work on Grounds.  When can I expect to be back on Grounds? 

    There is no official return date at this time. Personnel not required on Grounds will be welcomed back to Grounds when federal, state, and University restrictions are lifted and when Darden leadership determines that it is safe to phase other employees back to Grounds. We do not anticipate entering Phase II until 2021 at this time. 

  • I need to access Grounds, but I am not required on-Grounds personnel in this phase. What should I do? 

    Requests to return to Grounds made by faculty and staff who are not yet approved to return will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If you believe you have an essential reason to access Grounds in either location, you must continue to reach out to your manager first. Requests must be approved by the Dean’s Office. 

    After securing approval from you manager to return to Darden Grounds, please fill out this form to submit your request for Dean's Office approval.

  • What is required before I go to Darden Grounds each day or visit a UVA facility?

    You must be approved to return to a UVA worksite, even for a brief visit, by your manager and the Dean’s Office. Before you return: 

    • Complete the Return to Grounds training module. This one-time training module must be completed before coming to Darden Grounds or any UVA facility. 

    • Download the HOOS Health Check app to phones from the Apple App Store or Android Google Play Store, or access the website via personal computer. The app helps the University community prevent the spread of COVID-19. It will help individuals be aware of their symptoms, encourage personal responsibility, and provide resources and next steps for testing for individuals who report symptoms.

    Darden community members are also encouraged to download the COVIDWISE app from the Virginia Department of Health to help protect the broader UVA, Charlottesville and Virginia communities. COVIDWISE uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to quickly notify users who have likely been exposed so you can reduce the risk of infection for your friends and family and help Virginia stop the spread.

  • Am I required to take a COVID-19 test before returning to Grounds? Will I need to take a test later?

    Tests are not required for UVA employees before returning to their workplace, unless they exhibit symptoms or may have been exposed during an outbreak. Please see the Ongoing Testing section of the UVA Public Health Measures website for more details.

  • Does UVA provide asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for faculty and staff?

    Yes. As part of the University of Virginia’s plans to limit the spread of COVID-19, self-administered test kits will be available to asymptomatic faculty and staff in the Academic Division and to contracted workers. In addition, Medical Center and University Physicians Group employees will be able to register for asymptomatic testing appointments at a satellite UVA Health COVID-19 testing site. Please read the UVA Today article for more information.

  • How do I access the facility if I am approved to be on Grounds?

    All Darden facilities will only be accessible via Faculty/Staff ID card or temporary key card. This helps Darden keep track of each person who enters our buildings each day.

    • Faculty and Staff will have access to all doors equipped with access pads in Saunders Hall, Classroom Building, Abbott Hall, Faculty Office and Darden Library Buildings.        

    • Swipe pads are located as follows:  

      • Saunders Main and Handicapped entrances 

      • Classroom Building Learning Team Pavilion Doors 

      • Faculty Office Building Pavilion Entrances 

      • Abbott Center Auditorium Center, Ground Stairwell, Ground Arcade and Abbott Dining entrances 

      • Darden Library Ground Level Exterior, Interior Ground Level, First Floor Exterior and Interior Library entrance

  • When can I take my mask off while working on Grounds?

    It depends. If you are working alone in an office or other room with the door closed, you can remove your face covering. However, if you are working in a public area or other shared space, such as a lobby or in a conference room with another colleague, a face covering must be worn at all times except when you exercise or eat.

  • What do I do if my mask fogs up my glasses?

    UVA's policy for face coverings also applies to people wearing glasses. If your glasses fog up, it is most likely because your mask does not fit tightly around the nose and warm air escapes and rises to your glasses. If your mask allows it, try to pinch the top of your mask to make it better fit your nose. Try to tighten the sides of your mask. Other tips include applying anti-fogging solutions or soap water to your glasses before you wear your mask. Please check with your optician first to ensure your glasses will not be damaged, or ask them for additional advice.  

  • How can I ask a question that is not answered in this FAQ?

    For most questions, reach out directly to your Darden HR representative, manager or program leader.

    To send a question to the Dean's Office and Darden leadership, faculty and staff can share them through this form. Questions will be addressed as they arise during regular, ongoing town halls for the Darden community.

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