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Student Affairs COVID-19 updates


Dear JMU Community,

As we come to the end of the semester, I wanted to provide a few updates about the Governor’s recent Executive Order as well as some changes to how we will operate in the Spring Semester. Please take time to review all information presented in this email.

Executive Order 72 directs Virginia Residents to stay at home between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., implements a universal mask requirement, and lowers the limit on social gatherings from 25 people to 10 people. As of Monday, Dec. 14, this order went into effect and will remain in place through Jan. 31 unless rescinded or amended. To see the full Executive Order 72, please visit

How does this impact the expectations JMU has of you as a student?

  • Universal mask requirement: All JMU students are still required to wear face coverings indoors and when outdoors in the presence of others. This does not apply if you are actively eating or drinking.
  • Limit on social gatherings to 10 individuals: Per the JMU Stop the Spread Agreement, all JMU students have already committed to “not host or attend social gatherings, on or off-campus, larger than 10 people.” Executive Order 72 does not change this limit for JMU students but does add that social gatherings should never exceed 50% of a room’s capacity (indoor and outdoor settings). Executive Order 72 does not apply to classroom instruction.
  • Modified Stay at Home Order: In response to Executive Order 72, all individuals must remain at their place of residence (includes on-campus AND off-campus housing) between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Exceptions include, but are not limited to, obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention.

As fall semester comes to a close we want to thank you for all you’ve done to help us stop the spread of COVID-19 here at JMU. Since returning in October our number of cases has remained low and this is directly related to everyone's commitment. As we prepare for your return in January, here are a few updates:

  • Stop the Spread Agreement: There is an updated Stop the Spread Agreement that all students are required to sign. You will sign the Stop the Spread agreement through the MyMadison check-in process, which can be completed by logging on to Students are asked to read the agreement carefully and complete before their return to campus or by January 15, 2021, whichever comes first.
  • Entry Testing: All students living on campus will participate in COVID-19 Entry Testing between January 15 and January 18. This includes all students living in residence halls, Grace Street apartments, and fraternity and sorority houses owned by JMU. Students will receive information on how to sign up for an appointment on January 5. The test will be at no cost to the student. It is important for all students living on campus to be tested to help us identify any positive cases and help protect students, faculty and staff from COVID-19 infections and slow the spread of the virus. Therefore, any student who does not sign up for and complete entry testing will have their JACard deactivated so they will not be able to access their residence hall, meal plans or UREC until they complete the test. See the Stop the Spread FAQ for more information or email with questions.
  • Surveillance Testing: We will resume surveillance testing on January 26 and 27. Our goal is to test 15% of the on-campus population within the first two weeks of classes. We will continue with 5% (300 students) weekly for the remainder of the semester. Students will be notified through their JMU email. It is important to check JMU email and not filter out emails from JMU accounts.

Finally, we hope you can relax and enjoy time with those closest to you. Some tips from the CDC on how to celebrate the holidays safely can be found here. If you are staying locally, please note that the University Health Center will be closed from December 22 through January 4. If you need medical care during that time, please visit one of the local urgent care centers. If you test positive for COVID-19 over break, please log in to MyJMUChart and provide that information in your health history.

Good luck on exams, we’re looking forward to seeing you all back on campus in January.

Happy holidays and Go Dukes!

Dr. Tim Miller

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Published: Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 15, 2020

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