SPCS Coronavirus Response & Updates

Last updated: January 4, 2022

The School of Professional & Continuing Studies remains open for business. The University of Richmond remains in modified operating status and is operating in the Lime stage of our Physical Distancing Framework. Review the content on this page, and if your question isn’t answered here, contact us at (804) 289-8133 or spcs@richmond.edu for assistance.

SPCS follows the University’s lead and public health guidance to monitor conditions to ensure continuity of instruction. The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are our priority throughout the pandemic.

  • Spring 2022 SPCS classes are offered in-person, online and in hybrid formats. Remote access to in-person class meetings is not available.
  • The Spring 2022 academic calendar includes breaks as usual.
  • Negative COVID-19 test result is required to return to classes starting on January 10, 2022.
  • Vaccines are required for all students, faculty and staff unless an exemption is granted.
  • Masks are required in all campus buildings until further notice. Review the updated mask policy.
  • Interim Student Conduct Policies have been updated. Please review carefully.

The resources below apply to SPCS audiences. They link to and supplement the University’s official COVID-19 response page including the COVID-19 DashboardVaccine Requirement & Reporting and Faculty & Staff Resources.

To report a potential COVID-19 case, please contact your healthcare provider and notify Associate Dean Tom Shields in the SPCS dean’s office at tshields@richmond.edu or spcs@richmond.edu or (804) 289-8133.

Spring 2022 Planning

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  • Vaccinations Required

    The University will continue to require all students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless an exemption has been granted. All students, faculty, and staff are required to report their vaccine status to the University. Details on how to report your status is noted below. To meet the University’s vaccine requirement, students, faculty, and staff may choose the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. International students who have received a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization have met the University’s vaccine requirement.

    We are closely monitoring advice from public health officials regarding a COVID-19 booster. If you are fully vaccinated, the University strongly encourages you to get a booster six months after your last dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months after your dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Given the potential for waning protection against infection from the Delta variant and the emergence of the Omicron variant, the CDC recommends that everyone over 16 get a booster shot when they are eligible.

    At this time, the University’s vaccine requirement remains the same, and we are not requiring boosters. We encourage you to consult with your health care provider regarding whether to get a booster shot.

  • Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test Required

    As cases of COVID-19 are on the rise nationally as a result of the Omicron variant, proof of a negative COVID-19 test result will be required prior to your return to campus for the spring. The University will accept the results of PCR tests or rapid antigen tests, including at-home tests.

    Students who do not live on campus must provide proof of a negative PCR taken no more than 72 hours prior to Jan. 10 or a negative rapid antigen test taken no more than 48 hours prior to Jan. 10.

    • Negative test result: Students are required to report their negative test results using this form. Students who receive a test from a health care provider will need to upload proof of the negative test. Students who take an at-home test will need to complete a certification that includes the test date and the result.
    • Positive test result: Students are required to report their positive test results to covid19support@richmond.edu. Students who test positive may not return to campus and must isolate at home for at least 10 full days from the earlier of the onset of symptoms or the date of the positive test. As usual, our faculty and staff will work with students to keep pace with their coursework.
  • Report Your Vaccination Status

    Our planning for the spring semester depends on knowing how many students, faculty, and staff are fully vaccinated. All students, faculty, and staff are required to report their vaccine status to the University immediately and to update their vaccine status within five days of any change in status.

    • SPCS students should report their vaccine status by completing this form.
    • SPCS faculty and staff should report their vaccine status by completing this form.

    If you have already reported to the University that you are fully vaccinated, we are very grateful that you have done so. We will treat information about vaccine status confidentially, consistent with applicable laws and regulations.

    Additional information about the University’s vaccine requirement and reporting, including FAQS, are available on the Vaccine Requirement & Reporting page.

  • Vaccination Exemption Process

    Students, faculty, and staff may seek an exemption from the vaccine requirement if they have a medical condition that prevents them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or a sincerely held religious belief against receiving the vaccine. For the COVID-19 vaccine requirement only, students, faculty, and staff may also seek an exemption from the requirement to have a COVID-19 vaccine based on personal convictions strongly and sincerely held by the person seeking the exemption.

    To apply for an exemption from the vaccine requirement:

  • Health & Safety Protocols

    Members of our campus community who are not fully vaccinated, including those who are granted an exemption from the vaccine requirement, will be required to follow the University’s health and safety protocols for unvaccinated individuals in order to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to those on our campus who are not vaccinated. Currently, these protocols include arrival testing for COVID-19, participating in University-sponsored prevalence testing, and continuing to wear a mask indoors and in outdoor locations where physical distancing is not possible, as described in the University’s updated mask policy, which is in line with CDC guidelines.

    More information will be sent to students who are required to participate in arrival and prevalence testing.

  • Masks on Campus

    Until further notice, the University will require all students, faculty, and staff to wear masks in all campus buildings, regardless of vaccination status. This update is reflected in the university’s mask policy. The key elements of the policy include the following:

    Universal Masking Indoors. All students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask in all buildings on campus. This policy is subject to the exceptions set forth below. The University will reevaluate this requirement periodically to determine whether it needs to be modified.

    Additional Requirements for Everyone. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors that are vaccinated and unvaccinated will be required to wear a mask in the following settings:

    • On public transportation such as planes, trains, or buses, including University shuttles or when in airports, train or bus stations;
    • Outdoors if you experience symptoms of COVID-19 and until you receive a negative COVID-19 test result or, if positive, 10 days after symptom onset; and
    • When students go off campus for extra-curricular or co-curricular activities, including for community-based learning and engagement with K12schools, unless an exception has been granted by the University.

    Close Contacts. Fully vaccinated students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear a mask indoors and outdoors if they are a close contact of a person who is diagnosed with COVID-19 for a period of 14 days or until they receive a negative result from a COVID19 test taken 3 to 5 days after their exposure, whichever is earlier.

    Requirements for People Not Fully Vaccinated or who have not reported their vaccine status to the University. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors who are not fully vaccinated or have not reported their vaccine status to the University must wear masks that cover both the nose and mouth indoors and in outdoor settings where they not or cannot maintain physical distance, especially when traversing busy
    walkways and corridors.

    Off Campus. The University encourages all community members to wear a mask when off campus in public indoor spaces or in outdoor areas where physical distancing is not possible.

  • Interim Student Code of Conduct

    As we return to campus, we should all renew our collective commitment to making our campus as safe as possible for all members of our community. The health and safety of our entire campus and surrounding community is our highest priority.

    With this commitment in mind, we have substantially revised our Interim Student Conduct Policies so that they focus only on those requirements that are essential to promoting the health and safety of our campus. We encourage all students and families to review these important conduct policies prior to returning for the fall semester.

  • In-Person Classroom Experience

    We plan to begin in-person classes Monday, January 10. Given the steep increase in COVID-19 cases nationally and locally, we all will need to be flexible and adaptive. Some meetings or class sessions for in-person classes, especially at the start of the semester, may be remote for short periods due to COVID-19 disruptions. For instance, some faculty and staff might find themselves having to care for ill family members, or classes might have so many students absent that remote teaching may be the better option for a particular class session.

    It will be great to be back on campus in this new year, but we ask that students limit social gatherings to small groups, with masks. University-sanctioned meetings and events are allowable subject to all University COVID-19 policies, including masking and the Physical Distancing Framework. Indoor social gatherings create a high risk of COVID-19 transmission, especially with the Omicron variant, which we have seen jeopardize the ability for colleges and universities to maintain in-person instruction. We will need to continue to work together to ensure we are able to maintain the semester we all desire, and we will send additional guidance and updates as we have them.

    Our goal is to have a great educational experience. We are planning to start in the Lime stage of our Physical Distancing Framework, but we may move to the Yellow or a more restrictive stage if needed. Similarly, if conditions improve later this semester, we would relax restrictions.

  • Spring Schedule of Classes

    The semester will begin as scheduled January 10, end April 30 and will include the traditional Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration and Spring Break holiday. Additional information and key dates are available in the spring academic calendar.

    For the Spring 2022 semester, we are currently planning to offer a mix of fully in-person, fully online, and hybrid courses. This means we will offer these formats:

    • In-person classes: Taught on the UR campus, on weekday evenings
    • Synchronous online classes: Taught through live remote class sessions via Zoom, following a set schedule
    • Asynchronous online classes: A fully remote and online experience, with no scheduled class sessions
    • Hybrid classes: Includes both scheduled in-person class sessions and online classwork

Campus-Wide Updates

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  • COVID-19 Dashboard

    The University of Richmond has created a COVID-19 dashboard that provides updates on COVID-19 data specifically related to the campus community.

    The dashboard will be updated weekly and pulls data from multiple sources to illustrate and track various metrics, which will help inform continued decision-making related to campus operations. Weekly updates allow the University to protect the privacy of student and employee information while enabling us to observe and share campus health trends.

  • Virginia COVIDWISE App

    The Commonwealth of Virginia has developed a new tool to notify people if they are potentially a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19. C OVIDWISE is Virginia’s COVID-19 exposure notification app. The COVIDWISE app is tool that may serve to augment our campus community’s extensive prevention strategies. The app uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to quickly notify users who have been within six feet of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes and, as a result, may have been exposed to COVID-19. If the app notifies you that you may have been exposed, it will provide further instructions from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) on how to keep you and the people around you safe. VDH notes that the app does not track your location or identity, and it does not store location data. The University asks you to consider downloading the COVIDWISE app on your personal device to contribute to Virginia’s efforts to fight COVID-19.

  • Face Coverings

    The University’s policy on masks is consistent with prevailing public health guidance and updated as such guidance may change. The current policy is available here.

    We recognize that those who are fully vaccinated may wish to continue wearing a mask at all times, and we support your decision to do so.

  • Operational Updates & Interim Policies

    The University has announced a number of interim policies and operational changes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

SPCS Updates

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  • Information for Degree-Seeking Students

    All degree-seeking students are enrolled in the SPCS Student Online Support Community (AD878), an online student support site in Blackboard. Tools and resources are updated regularly, and discussions forums are monitored to provide quick responses to questions.

    To access the support site, log in to Blackboard and look under My Courses for “SPCS Student Online Support Community.”

    Getting Help with Technology

    Students in college-credit earning classes (course numbers ending with “U”) may contact the Information Systems Help Desk for assistance with access to online tools.

    Other resources that require UR network credentials (netID and password):

    Additional resources available to all SPCS students include the following:

  • Information for Professional Education & Lifelong Learning Students

    Most Professional Education and Think Again programs and classes scheduled for Spring 2022 will be offered remotely. This includes, but is not limited to, the following programs:

    • GIS Professional Certificate
    • Institute on Philanthropy
    • Political Campaign Management
    • Coding, Cybersecurity & Data Analytics Boot Camps
    • Fitness Trainer Programs

    In most cases, registrants will receive a link to access the remote learning environment via email a few days prior to the start of class.

    Resources for Students

    SPCS students who do not have a University of Richmond email address may be provided access to Blackboard (you would receive a message from your program manager or instructor) along with links to live Zoom video conferences. 

    If you received Blackboard login credentials from a member of SPCS staff, please edit your profile after login to include an email address where you will receive messages. Otherwise you won’t receive important messages from the instructor.

    Zoom links to classes can be accessed without having a University account.

    Additional resources available to all SPCS students include the following:

  • Information for Osher Members

    Many Osher Institute classes are being offered in person for the Spring 2022 term. Many others are being offered remotely, and a handful of classes are being offered as in-class/remote hybrids where you ca choose to attend in-person or remotely.

    Osher Institute staff have curated a wide range of online resources that are available to Osher members. These include UR Osher recorded lectures, University of Richmond lectures and performances, OLLI National Resource Center contributions, and many more.

    • Members may recommend additional resources by contacting osher@richmond.edu.
    • Osher staff will curate additions to the collection.

Getting Online

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  • Eduroam Wireless Network

    The eduroam network, in which the University of Richmond participates, allows Richmond faculty, staff and students to log on to the eduroam wireless network at participating university partners around the country and world. There is no charge to UR community members who have active UR email accounts.

    University of Richmond faculty, staff, and students can login to the eduroam wireless network when visiting other participating institutions by authenticating with netid@richmond.edu after selecting the eduroam wireless network from the list of available connections.

    Locally, Randolph-Macon College and Virginia Commonwealth University (including the MCV campus) participate in eduroam. Regionally, University of Mary Washington, University of Virginia, Longwood University and the College of William & Mary participate.

  • Comcast Internet Essentials (Lower-cost Internet Access)

    Comcast offers Internet Essentials by Comcast to eligible low-income households. An application is required. You may qualify if you are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and others.

  • Cox Connect2Compete (Lower-cost Internet Access)

    Cox offers Connect2Compete, low-cost internet service for qualifying households. You may qualify if you have a K-12 student in the household and participate in a government assistance program.

  • UR Help Desk Assistance

    The Information Services Help Desk (contact at helpdesk@richmond.edu or 804-287-6400) can provide self-help assistance via SpiderTechNet with technical and network issues.

    • Remote support available Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m.
    • On-call support available Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.