NOVA Fall 2020 Plan

NOVA is preparing to return to campus when classes begin on August 24, 2020. The college remains committed to the health and safety of students and employees. While much remains uncertain about the future impacts of COVID-19, NOVA has outlined safety considerations for limited on-site instruction, services and operations during the fall semester. This plan is grounded in a commitment to follow all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines for COVID-19 safety.

The College is prepared to follow Virginia’s guidance on both easing and reinstating public health restrictions as the situation changes. The full plan can be found here

For more hands-on classes that require a physical presence at NOVA, the College is using an individualized approach to identifying and implementing safety controls in a deliberate and sensible manner. Safety planning surveys were used to gather detail of what instruction or service will occur in each classroom or area and any unique dynamics or considerations involved. CDC and VDH guidance for physical distancing, the College evaluated each space, measured distance between seats, reviewed instructional areas and prepared plans and configurations to maximize a six-foot distance, to the extent possible

Prior to returning to campus, all students, faculty and staff at NOVA are required to complete an online COVID-19 training module that includes safety and anti-stigma information, available through either the employee portal or through Canvas, the student learning platform. All NOVA students, faculty and staff returning to campus are asked to check their symptoms daily using the ‘GoCanvas application’ (GoCanvas Download and Use Instructions)  where they can go to perform self-health screenings. This app is customized for NOVA’s health screening conditions and uses the approved health-related questions established by the Virginia Department of Health.

For Students: The majority of student services will continue to be delivered remotely with the expansion of call center support, virtual advising and virtual student support programming. Limited services such as computer labs, libraries, bookstores, the business office and parking will be open to limited numbers of students to provide necessary services while maintaining appropriate physical distancing. More student information can be found here. For student-specific inquiries, contact Student Services at or contact the Call Center at 703-323- 3000. 

For Employees: NOVA continues to offer telework options for employees who are able to perform the essential functions of their jobs remotely, particularly for employees who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

For Instructors: Instructors are encouraged to include a link in their syllabi to the COVID-19 Return to NOVA Training on Canvas. For COVID-19 general questions, contact the Office of Emergency Management and Safety at

For Events: NOVA’s fall 2020 plans include an initial ban on campus events/meetings by any internal/external group. NOVA’s athletic events are cancelled for the fall 2020-2021 season.

For Meetings:  Gathering in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. As NOVA resumes on-campus work, all are asked to continue to use remote meeting technology tools whenever possible. If it is necessary to conduct a meeting in person, the number of attendees should be limited so that those present can sit a minimum of six feet apart with all participants wearing face coverings.

For Visitors: Use of NOVA’s facilities by visitors is limited to approved contractors.

The Virginia Community Colleges System (VCCS) is open for business and is ready to help individuals meet their educational needs as safely as possible. For further information on VCCS and Chancellor Glenn Dubois’ message on fall, please click here.

For media questions regarding the fall plan, please contact Hoang Nguyen, NOVA’s Public Information Officer at

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site,