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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs 

How does quarantine and isolation work at Virginia Tech?

Find the full isolation and quarantine protocol here. The site has extensive information and FAQs on what happens before, during, and after quarantine and isolation.

Does the 15-person limit apply to events like a religious service or an outdoor protest? 

The 15-person limit is primarily designed to address high-risk social gatherings, such as parties, where behavior can jeopardize the health and well-being of the community. The limit isn’t meant to prevent someone from attending a religious service, or meeting a work obligation, or joining others to peacefully protest, or going to the grocery store. While the university will take a reasonable approach to implementing the 15-person limit, our goal in providing the guidance for gathering size is to encourage all members of the campus community to personally prioritize the practice of health guidelines. Wear a face covering and stay at least 6 feet apart – at all events, regardless of size or type. And if you go with a group of people to an event or location, don’t exceed 15 people as you travel, and don’t merge your group into a larger group when you get there.

What do I need to know about the Community Wellness Commitment?

In partnership with a range of local health, public safety, education, and government agencies, Virginia Tech collaborated with the New River Valley Public Health Task Force to develop a Community Wellness Commitment as the fall term approaches. The commitment outlines 10 tenets, based on well-known public health guidelines, that community members can personally adopt.

What do I need to know about testing, tracing, and case management?

Virginia Tech’s testing, tracing, and case management plan has been expanded with information on how students living off campus can be tested, as well as details about how the university is enhancing its testing protocols for students to allow for rapid return of results as the pace of testing quickens at the beginning of the fall semester. For more details, read the July 28 VT News story and the full testing plan.

What do I need to know about face coverings and masks?

Everyone on our campuses (faculty, staff, students, visitors, and others) is required to wear a face covering or mask in the following indoor and outdoor settings. 


Wear a face covering or mask, unless in a secluded location such as a personal office space with the door closed or a residence hall room. 

Exceptions* to this requirement include the following:

  • Medical condition
  • Speaking with those who are hard of hearing
  • Instructors lecturing in situations where wearing a mask would make them inaudible

*In these instances, a face shield must be worn. Employees who are unable to wear a face covering or face shield should be referred to the university’s ADA and Accessibility Services office.  


Wear a face covering or mask at all times. The only instance in which you can exercise without a face covering is if you are alone, but you need to be prepared to put one on if you encounter someone.

For further information on face coverings and masks for students, employees, instructors, and researchers, and about departments ordering face coverings, visit our health page.

What can department heads do to help their faculty members when a student tests positive or is exposed, asks about getting tested, or exhibits symptoms?

See the Instruction page for further detail on the guidance for department heads and their faculty members.

What do I need to know about the Hokie Ready app and the Hokie Health screening tool?

The new Hokie Ready app offers emergency alerts and resources, along with Hokie Health, a health-screening tool for employees and students. Learn more about the app and screening tool.

I am concerned about the rising case numbers nationally and locally. What numbers are we tracking to inform decisions about operations?

In addition to the Virginia Tech dashboard that displays numbers from Schiffert Health Center testing, we are closely monitoring the Virginia Department of Health dashboard for the commonwealth and individual health districts. Metrics evaluated include the positivity rate, the total number of cases, and the number of tests performed. Available hospital capacity (number of beds, ICU space, and number of ventilators) is also monitored. The Harvard Global Health Institute’s model is used to monitor national and international information. Decisions regarding in-person instruction and activities are based on public health data and the adherence of Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff to campus health and safety protocols.

How is Virginia Tech collaborating with local economies, especially in Blacksburg and the New River Valley, to support local businesses?

We acknowledge the tremendous impact that the ongoing pandemic is having on the economy. Especially in Blacksburg and the New River Valley, Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff, and alumni have a profound impact on the economy and a wide range of businesses small and large, and we deeply value these relationships. As part of the New River Valley Health Task Force, we are collaborating with a variety of local partners. Our Community Wellness Commitment, which is being widely adopted by task force members and the broader community, will help us flatten the curve and lower the health risks for our community members.

What will happen if there is an outbreak on campus?

If outbreaks emerge, tighter restrictions, reduced staffing, and a reduction in on-site populations may need to be implemented again. In the university’s framework for scaling operations, the “operational plans” section and other parts of the document outline how the university will make these decisions.

What do I need to know about tuition, fees, and financial assistance?

Visit the For Students page to learn more about tuition, fees for virtual learners, the Student Emergency Fund, CARES Act funding and commercial loan relief, and student jobs.

Area Specific FAQ pages

A variety of area-specific FAQ pages are available.