Healthy Campus Plan: SCHEV Approval to Reopen Campus for Fall 2020

· July 23, 2020

Today the Office of the President issued the following letter:


Dear Southern Virginia University Community,

We are pleased to announce that Southern Virginia University’s Healthy Campus Plan has been approved with no revisions by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Based on our approved Healthy Campus Plan, we are officially cleared to reopen our campus for Fall 2020. Our full Healthy Campus Plan is available online. Below is a summary of its key components:

Measures to Prevent Exposure

We will take the following proactive measures to protect our campus community from exposure to the COVID-19 virus during the Fall 2020 Semester:

  • Universal Masking (effective filtration face coverings), required in all classroom settings and University indoor public shared spaces, will be free and available on campus
  • Personal Hygiene emphasized throughout the semester including proper hand-washing and the use of hand-sanitizer dispensing stations located throughout campus
  • Social Distancing maintained in all classroom settings and University indoor public shared spaces enabled by redesigned and remodeled public spaces that will provide easier social distancing options for students; newly implemented processes, such as mobile ordering for students with meal plans, will help reduce crowding and wait times
  • Enhanced Professional Surface Cleaning in all classroom settings and University indoor public shared spaces using approved antiseptic products, including electrostatic sprayers where appropriate and sanitizing wipes provided in all classroom settings
  • True HEPA-grade Air Cleaning and Purification in all classroom settings, University Housing, and University indoor public shared spaces using newly installed state-of-the-art technology to circulate, filter, and sanitize the air in all rooms and buildings on campus, including filtering and ionic purifiers

Measures to Identify Infection and Minimize Spread

We will implement the following measures to identify and minimize spread of the virus:

  • Upgraded Wellness Center, including an On-campus COVID-19 Testing Center with same-day test results, overseen by Suzanne Garcia, PA-C, and Dane McBride, MD
  • Health Screening Questionnaire required daily before entering campus for all students, faculty, professional staff, as well as any campus visitors
  • Isolation Housing, including contact-free food delivery, designated for students living in University Housing who test positive for the virus
  • Quarantine Housing, including contact-free food delivery, designated for students living in University Housing identified as a “close contact” of an individual who tests positive, or who otherwise meet criteria for quarantining
  • Increased Training across Campus on best practices to reduce risk of exposure and assist students with accessing wellness resources with special emphasis in key strategic areas such as Food Services, University Housing, and the Wellness Center

In addition to the above measures, we strongly encourage any students who are immunocompromised or in high-risk health categories relative to COVID-19—or who share living spaces with or care for individuals in these high-risk categories—not to attend campus in-person during the Fall 2020 semester. In these specific cases, we will accommodate these individuals with options to continue learning remotely during the fall semester. If you feel this situation applies to you, please contact the Office of the Registrar at your earliest convenience by emailing

We are blessed that our University is located in the rural Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, a low-population density area with historically low rates of significant COVID-19 incidents. It is also helpful that the University has a culture and Code of Honor to be honest, clean and kind, and abstain from alcohol and drugs. With our Healthy Campus Plan approved and in place, and with the cooperation of our excellent students, faculty, and professional staff, we believe that we can make our campus home one of the safest places where any student could live in the coming months. To that end, we will ask all members of our campus community to formally affirm their individual commitment to our Healthy Campus Plan before coming to campus.

Throughout the next month, we will send additional details and frequent updates about our Healthy Campus Plan, including specific instructions on how to prepare before coming, and how to affirm your individual commitment to the plan.

The remarkable rate of progress to develop new vaccines and treatments is very hopeful! It is possible these measures for Fall 2020 Semester may begin to be modified and life may begin to normalize as the Spring 2021 Semester progresses. In the meantime, with everyone’s cooperation, help, and faith, together we can keep Southern Virginia University a happy and healthy home for this year—a safe harbor and a refuge from the storm.


We are excited to safely gather together again on campus.




The Office of the President

Southern Virginia University


P.S. Please note that our Healthy Campus Plan is subject to change depending on trends of the virus and guidance from local and state authorities.