March 21, 2020

Here are some things to know about UVA's and UVA Engineering's novel coronavirus response.

Helping Our Hard-Working Medical Community because #WeAreUVAEngineering – There are two important requests for UVA research labs to donate supplies for health care use, due to the national shortage of critical medical supplies for doctors, nurses and other health  workers during the novel coronavirus outbreak:

  • The UVA Global Infectious Diseases Institute says UVA Health is in immediate need of consumables and reagents to combat COVID-19. All UVA labs are officially approved to donate if they are able to do so; lab employees are please asked to check for any of the items and bring them to West Complex, Davis Wing room 1294. A full list of items needed, plus directions on where to take the items, can be found here. Items needed are:

Consumables (Non-Expired):
Isolation Gowns
Isolation masks
Eye shields
N-95 masks
Bouffant caps
Surgeon caps
Hand sanitizer
Disinfectant wipes
Shoe covers
Dacron nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs
Manufactured VTM (viral transport media) - if you have the components for VTM (veal infusion broth, bovine albumin fraction V, gentamicin sulfate and amphotericin B) be ready; the pharmacy may be able to prepare from components if approval is given.

  • The Department of Materials Science and Engineering has jumped on an idea from Claire Culver, MSE’s undergraduate student coordinator. Claire’s husband is a local OB/GYN, and Claire pointed out that while many people shelter at home, local doctors, nurses and other health-care practitioners are doing all they can to keep their offices open to continue serving their patients. However, with medical supplies scarce, these practitioners are in dire need of protective gear for their personnel. John Scully, department chair, jumped into action to assist Claire’s equipment drive. Scully has placed a donation box outside the department office door on the first floor of Wilsdorf Hall, near Wilsdorf Café, to accept designated lab employees’ donations of clean but no longer used protective items. Most needed are protective face masks, because health-care practitioners have been reduced to sewing their own. Donations are welcome through Tuesday, March 24, at noon, as labs across the University finish recalibrating their activities to focus on remote work. Please contact John Scully if you have any questions.


From UVA: Community Care in Response to COVID-19 – The UVA Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights has posted a “Community Care” website to combat bias and stigmatization brought on by the pandemic. The site states: “At the University of Virginia, we affirm the values of belonging, respect, access, and community care. We stand against xenophobia, ableism, and all forms of discrimination and injustice. There is a long unfortunate history of stereotypes associating those perceived as ‘outsiders,’ and specifically Asians, with disease. Harassment of or bias toward members of our international community or any Asian-identified individuals due to fears of the coronavirus are not only unwarranted, they are not what we stand for at UVA. UVA policy prohibits discrimination and harassment based on certain protected characteristics, including race and ethnicity, national origin, and disability status or those regarded as having a disability, including chronic illness. During this unprecedented time, we must work as a community to fervently reaffirm our values.”


From the UVA Engineering Novel Coronavirus BlogFinding the Bright Side” with data analyst Aaron Williams and his co-working dog, Mackinac; “Using This Situation to Teach Students about Change Management” from data analyst and course instructor Chip Morton;  and “One Professor’s Helpful, Step-by-Step Instructions for Students to Video Themselves,” by Lisa Colosi Peterson from the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment.


#WeAreUVAEngineering – Don’t forget we’re looking for positive-news stories including:

  • Stories you could share about fellow students, faculty or staff doing something interesting or great or supportive for online instruction or for remote teamwork.
  • Stories about people going the extra mile to help each other.
  • Personal stories of what are you doing to make life fun and interesting for yourself or your families at this challenging time.

Send us your stories on this online form. You can upload photos or short (20 seconds or less) videos. (Yes, photos and short videos of the quality time you’re spending with your cats and dogs are welcome!) We’ll share your stories on our social media channels (#WeAreUVAEngineering) and on our website.


Where to Find and Keep Track of News and Information – UVA Engineering’s novel coronavirus web page archives our school mass e-mail communications related to COVID-19 and includes links to the University’s sites. You can find this page from the Engineering School’s homepage at We’ve also got a new blog with updates, news and tips: