JMU News

JMU COVID-19 update


Dear JMU Family,

Given the rapid spread of COVID-19 among the JMU student body during the first week of the fall semester, and the university’s subsequent change in operations, we will be sending out a regular Stop the Spread e-newsletter to keep the JMU Family informed about new developments aimed at keeping us safe while maintaining academic progress.  

Update on Cases
Yesterday, the university observed 50 new positive cases of COVID-19, one of which was an employee believed to have contracted the illness off-campus. 99 cases became considered “recovered,” yesterday, meaning they were diagnosed as positive more than 10 days ago. We currently have 39 open quarantine and isolation beds. More information can be found on the university’s Stop the Spread dashboard. De-densifying campus was a necessary step to protect the community, however, individuals must continue to follow public health guidance by wearing masks, maintaining physical distance and washing hands frequently. That will not change until a vaccine is widely available.  

Contact Tracing Mobile App
The university urges all members of the community to download Virginia’s free COVIDWISEExposure Notifications app to help protect our community. The Virginia Department of Health is offering the app, which will inform users if they have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive. The technology was developed by Apple and Google and is designed to track exposure while also protecting privacy. The more of us who install COVIDWISE on our phones, the more effective it will be. Check here for more information, or go directly to the app store to download.

Update on Disciplinary Actions
The university’s Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices has 146 cases against students reported to have violated the COVID-19 Student Agreement that all students were required to sign prior to classes starting. These cases range in severity, from not wearing a mask, which could result in disciplinary probation, to hosting or attending large gatherings, which could result in sanctions up to and including suspension or expulsion. The university takes the enforcement of our student agreement seriously, and expects outcomes to these and additional cases in the coming weeks.

Students Must Continue to Self-Report Positive Cases
Even though classes have now transitioned to virtual learning, it is still important for the University Health Center to know when someone in the JMU community tests positive for COVID-19 at an off-campus provider. This is the only way the university will understand the full prevalence of the disease in our community. If you receive a positive test result at an off-campus provider, please follow these instructions:

  • For students who were tested outside of the University Health Center: Please self-report through MyJMUChart. Someone from the UHC and the Virginia Department of Health will follow up with you.
  • For faculty and staff who were tested outside the University Health Center: You will be notified by the medical facility that collected your test. You will also receive a call from the Virginia Department of Health. Please follow isolation instructions. You should also notify your supervisor and the JMU Occupational Health Nurse.

Additional tips from the Virginia Department of Health
Members of the JMU Family must do everything they can to protect themselves and those around them in the larger Harrisonburg and Rockingham County communities. In our message to students Sunday, we passed along guidance from the Virginia Department of Health which encouraged JMU Dukes to stay safer at home for the next 14 days, and asked them not to...  

  • Go to a party or hang with friends with whom you do not live
  • Dine in at a local restaurant or bar
  • Go to a store to shop for non-essential items
  • Watch a movie in a theater
  • Receive beauty services
  • Go anywhere without wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance

Stay safe and please remember that the only vaccine currently available for COVID-19 is solidarity.

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Published: Thursday, September 10, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 6, 2021

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