A video message from Dean Pam Cipriano to UVA School of Nursing students, dated March 29, 2020.


PAMELA F. CIPRIANO: Hi, everybody. It's Pam and Zeus. He's our blonde, bright white, Golden Retriever when he's not dirty.

So coming to you from my house, and want to make sure that everybody's doing OK. Wanted to check in and say hello. It's been a lot going on this past week, as I'm sure you've been adjusting to your classes. I want to thank all of you for your perseverance. I know sometimes it's really hard to get used to being home. We get really distracted.

One of the things that's important when your life is going through a lot of changes is to have a routine where you get enough sleep, you're eating well, you're resting, you're finding the rhythm that you need so that your life doesn't feel quite as disrupted. So make sure that you're eating healthy foods. That you're getting a chance to exercise a little bit. Maybe take a walk around your neighborhood. Maybe you're lucky enough to have a pet that will take you out for a walk.

And hopefully you are adjusting to having roommates, family members, other people around in your life. And again, I know that that's a challenge. But hopefully your classes are going well. You're able to stay focused. And I know that your faculty are really trying to help as well. They're going through similar adjustments too. So hopefully we're all learning together.

I wanted to just make a couple of comments. I got my notes here to make sure I don't forget something. But one of the things is-- in addition to taking care of yourself-- again making sure we're looking out for each other because not everyone copes as well. I know I have two adult daughters that I've mentioned to you before. One is very social. One is like, leave me alone. And so trying to figure out what people's strategies are for not getting bored, for staying in touch with their friends is again really important.

A couple other things -- kind of what's next. I wish I had new information for you on graduation. I know there are lots of discussions going on. Nothing's been decided yet. So I don't have real news. You have seen information about grading. You may not have information about course evaluations. There will be a new tool that will specifically ask you to give feedback about how this semester went with online teaching.

So it won't be the traditional tools that you've used before. The feedback will not be used to evaluate faculty, but really to give us intelligence about how did this change for online education go. So when the time comes, we'll look forward to getting that feedback from you.

A couple of other things-- I know you're probably interested in what's going on in the hospital. I do stay very connected so every day I'm on a couple of phone calls and update us. We're beginning to see the number of hospitalized patients that are testing positive for COVID increase, not exponentially yet. Both the Medical Center and Martha Jefferson Hospital have a number of cases. And we also have a number of cases under investigation.

So far-- fingers crossed-- we're really fortunate there are no health care workers who have had any kind of positive testing associated with their role in the hospital or clinic setting. So we're watching that very carefully. The Medical Center is also tracking very carefully the protective equipment, the PPE, ventilators, the number of critical care beds-- so they're being very judicious following all of the guidelines benchmarking nationally, regionally, and so we're in good shape with that.

We've got a number of experts working with us to do predictive modeling. We really just have to see what happens. And again lots of planning. So I want you to be hopeful in terms of the safety here in our community, as well as the safety of our health care care providers.

They are obviously and appropriately nervous no matter how precise your procedures are. We've got donning and doffing coaches to make sure those that are taking care of the sickest patients and those unfit are being reviewed for COVID are getting the equipment that they need, and they're being safe in that process. So we know that these are concerns of yours too. Please know that our medical centers are really excellent job.

And there will continue to be information made available to everybody on a regular basis. And we'll make sure it points you to that if it's not really obvious. But right now again I wanted to just check in with you, tell you I'm thinking about all of you. Hope you're doing well. Hope you're finding ways to be resilient. Help each other.

Again find ways that you can either get the distraction you need. I was baking cookies yesterday. I kind of needed a little outlet. I was getting bored. I don't usually get bored. So I realized that I needed to do something a little different.

So I hope you're doing well. Please reach out if there's any way that any of us can help you, keep you updated throughout the rest of the semester. We've got a number of issues that we're working that we know have been questions you've raised. And so I look forward to a time where we can see you face to face. It may not be brought before the end of the semester. But I wish everyone well and hope to hear from you if there's anything we can do to help. So thanks very much.