After a semester that featured dorm lockdowns, gathering limits, maskless masses flooding bars, and more than a thousand positive tests among students, staff, and contract employees since August, UVA announced last week that students will return to Grounds in person for the spring semester.
The university will essentially replicate its fall reopening plans next semester. Most classes will be held online, but there will be a limited number of in-person offerings. Students will continue to be required to wear masks, practice social distancing, and comply with testing requirements while on Grounds.
The school’s January term will take place online. And while these courses usually cost extra, this year students can take one class for free.
To reduce the threat during peak flu season, the first day of spring classes has been pushed back from January 20 to February 1. The semester will still end at the beginning of May.
And to discourage students from traveling in and out of Charlottesville, the typically weeklong spring break—originally scheduled for March 6 through 14—will be replaced with multiple shorter breaks.
Before students leave for Thanksgiving and finish out the rest of the semester from home, they will all be required to take and submit a COVID test, like they did before returning to Grounds this fall. No word yet if they will be tested again before the start of the spring semester.
By March 15, the university will announce its plans for Final Exercises, for both the classes of 2020 and 2021. The Class of 2020 is currently scheduled to have its delayed celebration from May 21 to 23. The Class of 2021 is slated to walk the Lawn the following weekend.
Follow the money
In elections for the House of Representatives, the candidate who spends more money wins 90 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.
There are multiple reasons for that correlation: Large war chests help candidates put together effective campaigns, and candidates with winning pedigrees attract more donations. In any case, it bodes well
for Cameron Webb, who has run rings around Bob Good in
the money race. As of October 25, Webb has raised $4.6 million; Good, a former fundraiser for Liberty University athletics, has raised just $1.1 million. The difference in small-dollar donations is even starker: Webb has earned $1.3 million to Good’s $180,000 from donations of $200 or less.
Across the state, Democrats have thumped Republicans in fundraising. U.S. Senator Mark Warner has raised $16.6 million, compared to opponent Daniel Gade’s $3.9 million, according to OpenSecrets. Warner’s senate seat was a tossup six years ago, but now the Dem, seeking a third term, is a comfortable favorite. Warner’s 2014 opponent, Ed Gillespie, raised $7.9 mil, but Gade hasn’t been able to come anywhere near that amount this year. Virginia Republicans haven’t won a statewide race since 2009.
In this cycle, Virginians have given $23.2 million to Joe Biden and $11.1 million to Donald Trump, according to the Federal Election Commission. Nationally, Biden has far outraised what Hillary Clinton did in 2016, and Trump has almost doubled his totals from last time around. That dynamic is visible on the state level too—in 2016, Virginians gave $16 million to Hillary Clinton and just $3.7 million to Trump.
Quote of the week
“I strain to recall ever before witnessing such disdain for precedent, such disrespect for the legacy of an American giant, such disregard for the will of the voters.”
—Senator Tim Kaine on Monday’s confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett
You’ve Piqua’d my interest
High rates of turnover in Charlottesville city government continue. Former public works director and Deputy City Manager Paul Oberdorfer is leaving for the greener pastures of Piqua, Ohio, where he’s been offered the job of city manager, reports The Daily Progress. Oberdorfer, an Ohio native, will finish in Charlottesville on December 31.
Multiple staffers at Wintergreen Resort have tested positive for COVID, and 20 have been asked to quarantine, after an October 10 wedding party introduced the disease to the ski resort. Wintergreen currently limits its events to 50 guests at a time, and has assured the public that it’s been adhering closely to all relevant guidelines. Still, once the virus takes hold, things can go downhill quickly.
The horror continues
As if the world wasn’t scary enough, Halloween is just around the corner. Trick-or-treating isn’t officially canceled this year, but the city is encouraging hosts to “avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters and give treats away outdoors if possible.” Hopefully, for one night at least, no one will mind walking around in a mask.
Bob Good keeps popping up in headlines for the wrong reasons—this time, he hosted a private fundraiser in Fauquier County where doctor and high-ranking Trump official Ben Carson was caught sauntering about without a mask. Carson’s appearance continues a pattern of inconsistent mask use from Trump’s inner circle, despite the repeated assertion from medical experts that masks save lives.