News, resources, and updates for the 2020 fall semester
Testing available for students, employees in greater Washington, D.C. metro area
The university will begin asymptomatic, surveillance testing for Virginia Tech employees and students in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area starting Tuesday, Oct. 20.
This applies to employees and students who use or work in the following locations only:
- Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church
- Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington
- Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center in Alexandria
- The Gallery student housing
- Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center
- Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory
Updated Sept. 18
Surveillance testing is ongoing regular testing of specific groups of people, regardless of whether they have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, in order to understand the spread of the virus. In Virginia Tech’s case, surveillance testing currently focuses on four testing categories that will continue to be tested through the fall 2020 semester: high-contact employees and students, ongoing student population testing, student-athlete testing, and prevalence testing.
Prevalence testing is random testing of a population of people who are assumed to be non-symptomatic in order to compare the number of people who have the virus with the total number of people tested in order to understand the actual percentage of the population that is infected.
Diagnostic testing is used to confirm an illness, such as performing a COVID-19 test on someone with symptoms, to confirm if they are positive or negative for the virus.
Pooled testing is the simultaneous analysis of multiple samples. If the analysis produces a positive result, the individual samples can then be analyzed to identify the positive sample. At Virginia Tech’s COVID-19 Lab at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, which has recently received FDA approval for pooled testing, the lab will test four samples at once, and the method will expand the lab’s capacity.
Remember the three Cs and the M… and now, the F.
- Avoid Close contact situations. Maintain distance from other people. Six feet doesn’t mark a magic barrier, but the particles do dilute with distance.
- Avoid Crowds. Being in a large crowd will increase the chance that you will be around someone infected with the virus, and that the virus will spread to others.
- Avoid Closed, poorly ventilated spaces. Imagine a cigarette smoker being in the same space as you. Will you take in any smoke?
- Wear Masks.
Get your Flu Shot. Find more details here.
Isolation and quarantine
Learn about the isolation and quarantine protocol here. The site has extensive information and FAQs about what happens before, during, and after quarantine and isolation.
Tips for your pod
Pods – small groups that commit to each other’s health – can be a fundamental tool in fighting both the spread of COVID-19 and the quarantine blues.
Guidance on how to form your pod is available here. Meanwhile, here are some of the tips:
- Keep your pod small.
- Join a pod with people you trust.
- Only join one pod.
- Set clear boundaries for when pod members are outside the pod.
Updated Aug. 26
- No event, on campus or off campus, can have more than 15 people attending, unless the event is sanctioned or monitored by Virginia Tech.
- Face coverings/masks should be worn at all gatherings, with 6-foot physical distancing. Individuals should remove themselves from situations where this is not possible. Independent outdoor exercise is the only exception to the obligation of the face covering requirement.
Read more in Frank Shushok’s Aug. 23 message.
- No unapproved, work-related gathering involving more than 15 people is permitted. When a task cannot be accomplished without more than 15 people gathering, a plan must be developed to mitigate health safety risk and the plan must be approved by the unit leader.
- Face coverings/masks are to be worn at all times when on campus. Exceptions include circumstances when an employee is working alone in a workspace with a closed door and if an employee is continually distanced from anyone else outdoors, such as when exercising outdoors. However, even under these outdoor conditions, wearing a face covering will set a good example to the community at large. Exceptions and expectations relating to chronic health conditions are still applicable.
Read more in the Aug. 25 message from Dwayne Pinkney and Cyril Clarke.
Updated Aug. 6
Be committed. Be well.
Be Committed. Be Well with the HokieBird.
COVID-19 lab ready for testing
Installing tents to give Hokies more space on campus