President’s Posts

Michael Rao, Ph.D.

Official seal for VCU in black and gold.

To the VCU and VCU Health Community,

Concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19) understandably grows with the number of confirmed cases across the country, and now in Virginia. We are closely monitoring the spread of coronavirus and its potential impact. Our priority is – as always – the health, wellness and safety of all members of our community and of those communities we proudly serve.

  • At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with Virginia Commonwealth University, the VCU Health System or in the Richmond area. However, the number of confirmed cases is growing and it is likely there will be cases in our region. We have teams from the university and health system working together to plan and respond to emerging coronavirus issues. These include dozens of infectious disease and health care experts and top administrators addressing the epidemic to prioritize your health and safety as we conduct the business of the university and the health system, including education, research and patient care.
  • A primary goal of our efforts at the university is to ensure that we maintain academic instruction regardless of potential disruption caused by the coronavirus. The university’s Incident Coordinating Team (ICT) has been expanded into several work groups to plan for potential scenarios, including alternatives for in-person classroom instruction and large group gatherings, housing, dining and more. The university’s ICT is working closely with VCU Health’s Coronavirus Task Force, which includes national experts on infectious disease. These groups meet and communicate daily to be able to immediately respond to changing circumstances.
  • The university’s COVID-19 site is updated at least once a day. It can be accessed from the VCU homepage and the VCU Alert page. It includes the latest university actions such as student and employee travel and recommended actions, as well as information resources. VCU Health maintains a COVID-19 web site with a number of resources, including frequently asked questions about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus and additional resources. The VCU Health intranet is an immediate information source for VCU Health team members.

As of now we are maintaining normal operations at the university, mindful that we may need to take additional precautionary measures at any time. We will keep you updated through emails, our dedicated coronavirus web sites, social media and other unit communications. The VCU Health System continues normal operations and will keep health system employees updated through the intranet and other internal communications.

In the meantime, I ask that you continue to be mindful and respectful of other people, as this outbreak is not limited to any one age group, geographic region, nationality, or ethnicity and race. Keep your hands clean – wash them often with soap. Avoid sharing food or drinks. Stay home if you feel sick. As always, please cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue; clean and disinfect objects you touch frequently; and do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

We are cognizant, as we know you are, of our responsibility to be proactive and thoughtful as leaders of a community that values each and every one of its members. That includes being timely and proactive with responses without instilling undue anxiety in an already stressful situation. I remain thankful for the continued diligence of our community and the ways we protect and care for each other.


Michael Rao

President, VCU and VCU Health System

Categories Health, News, Periodic update, To VCU
Tagged , , , , ,