The University of Virginia announced Thursday that its fall semester will look much like those prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In an email to the UVA community, university leaders said they anticipate that the pandemic will have largely abated by August — in part due to the increasing availability of vaccines. 

“[T]he default assumption will be that faculty will be in the classroom, first-year students will be in our residence halls, and students will be in Charlottesville – all prepared to arrive in their classrooms at the appointed hour,” the email read. 

Gov. Ralph Northam said Thursday that all adults in Virginia will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 18. According to the Virginia Department of Health, 30.1% of Virginians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 16.1% are fully vaccinated. 

Fall semester plans are subject to change depending on the trajectory of the pandemic, university leaders said in the Thursday email. UVA administration will update the community with greater details on fall semester health and safety plans by July 15. 

The email added that some public health precautions may remain in place, although they will be less restrictive than those throughout the last year. Currently, students are limited to groups of six when gathering indoors, and groups of 25 when outside. 

The fall semester will also see a full reopening of recreational facilities, libraries, dining and student activities. 

“We are not quite out of the woods yet, but we have finally reached a point where we can envision a return to much more normal conditions of in-person learning, working, and research,” university leaders wrote.


Ali Sullivan is a graduate of the University of Virginia. She received a B.A. in Media Studies and Government in 2020.