JMU Health Update - Nov. 20


Dear JMU Family,

During the Holidays
The university will curtail sending the daily Health Update emails during the Thanksgiving break. After today, the dashboard will not be updated until Nov. 30.

Please have a safe and restorative holiday. President Jonathan R. Alger sent this message to the community thanking students, faculty and staff for the incredibly strong showing since returning in early October. For six weeks, the Dukes of JMU displayed what a caring community can accomplish together. The positivity rate from all JMU student COVID-19 tests is reported on today’s dashboard at 1.5%. That’s just inspiring. Go Dukes!

Upcoming Testing Opportunities

  • MONDAY, Nov. 23, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds (about 10 minutes from JMU). Open to all students, faculty, staff and the community. It is recommended that you preregister, but you may be able to register on-site if appointments are still available.

According to VDH officials, not only was this past Wednesday’s test at UPARK the biggest yet in Virginia, it was the most scenic, too! A special thanks to the Central Shenandoah Health District, the Medical Reserve Corps, the Department of Health and Human Services, Harrisonburg Fire and Rescue and Police departments, and the many JMU volunteers who make these free mass-testing events possible.

Receiving Results
If you have been tested at one of the free testing events recently, you may be contacted by phone. Please answer the call even if you don’t recognize the number and be sure your voicemail is set up and not full.

Self-reporting Next Week
If you are staying on campus over Thanksgiving break and receive a positive COVID-19 test between Wednesday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 29, please contact the JMU Public Safety Office at 540-568-6912 so you can be connected with the appropriate Residence Life staff member. Be sure to follow instructions about isolation as directed by the medical provider who tested you and the Virginia Department of Health, and report the positive test result through MyJMUChart.

If you live off campus, please follow instructions about isolation as directed by the medical provider who tested you and the Virginia Department of Health, and report the positive test result through MyJMUChart.

Future Testing Dates
There will be more FREE testing events available in December. Watch for more information in upcoming Health Updates.

Looking for more testing?
Use this link to find a testing site near you. Not from Virginia? Look up your state’s Health Department page.

Remember that testing is only accurate for the time that it is administered! Wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and practice physical distancing while you await results and afterward, even if you test negative. Minimize interactions with others by spending short periods of time with smaller groups of people, outside if possible, and avoiding long indoor gatherings. These recommendations are important all of the time, but ESPECIALLY if you will be seeing older relatives or family members with underlying medical conditions.

Update on Cases
The university observed 2 new positive cases of COVID-19 at the Health Center yesterday, 3 self-reported student cases, and 2 employee self-reported cases, with 5 students currently recovering, putting the number of active cases at 37. The number of open quarantine and isolation beds is at 430 out of 443. More information can be found on the university’s Stop the Spread dashboard. While our situation continues to improve, individuals must continue to follow public health guidance by wearing masks, maintaining physical distance and washing hands frequently.

Stop the Spread HELPline
If students and their families have questions and can’t readily find the answers in our FAQs, call the Stop the Spread HELPline, which is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The toll-free number is 888-886-3131. Please note: Due to greatly reduced call volume, the HELPline will close for the semester beginning Friday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m. Don’t forget, many of your questions can be answered here. Call center agents also will be answering questions sent to, and you can submit questions via a form on the Stop the Spread site. Call center agents will continue to monitor email and the form submissions for the remainder of the semester. Should conditions warrant, the HELPline can be reopened. Please note, the HELPline is not for reporting noncompliance with health guidance and the Stop the Spread Agreement signed by all students. Please use the LiveSafe app, which goes directly to the JMU Public Safety dispatch.

Stay safe, and please remember that the only vaccine currently available for COVID-19 is solidarity. And download the COVIDWISE app!


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Published: Friday, November 20, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, December 3, 2020

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