Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: March 10, 2022
Face coverings and masks
Are masks required for students, faculty, and staff?
As of March 10, masks are recommended — but no longer required — for indoor spaces in campus locations in Blacksburg, Roanoke, the greater Washington, D.C., metro area, Richmond, and other locations that have been classified as "medium" or "low" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those who are unvaccinated, at elevated risk, or live with vulnerable individuals are encouraged to keep wearing masks. Additionally, many members of the Virginia Tech community may still choose to wear masks to protect themselves. Please respect the individual decision of your fellow Hokies.
What is considered to be an indoor instructional space?
Indoor instructional spaces include any permanent or temporary classroom, laboratory, facility, or meeting/collaboration space where faculty and students gather for credit-based or associated academic or research activities. These spaces include all scheduled locations as identified on the course timetable as well as associated recitations and other meetings.
Are KN95 masks required or suggested?
Suggested and encouraged. This type provides a better fit than most cloth masks.
Is Virginia Tech providing masks?
KN95 masks are available for pickup at these locations in Blacksburg and Roanoke.
I feel nervous about not wearing a mask anymore. What can I do to protect myself?
You can continue to wear masks indoors if you choose. We remain a community of Hokies and use the Principles of Community to appreciate and respect varied opinions and viewpoints. Testing, vaccines, and boosters remain available for the community. As you have throughout the pandemic, continue to follow practices for good hygiene and — if you choose — continue to wear a mask in indoor settings.
I have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. Do I need to wear a mask?
Yes. Individuals who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 ought to wear a face mask in Virginia Tech spaces to protect themselves.
What about face shields?
Instructors can choose to wear face masks. Face shields are not a viable alternative because plexiglass only diverts aerosols, whereas face masks remove aerosols. Plexiglass is only useful for brief, face-to-face interactions.
Academic units are encouraged to review their audio technology resources and do their best to provide microphones and audio systems that can amplify instructors’ voices.
In the case of hearing-impaired students, these should be addressed as special cases.
In most of these cases, clear masks will provide the best solution. In working through these cases, instructors are encouraged to seek assistance from Services for Students with Disabilities to identify a solution.
Faculty should consult with their department heads on any extenuating circumstances. If additional are then needed, questions can be directed to the University Registrar.
I have additional questions around face coverings.
Employees who have concerns about masking should speak with their supervisor or college or department HR representative.
What do I need to know about COVID-19 vaccines? Are they mandatory?
While not required, Virginia Tech students and employees are encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19, to get a booster dose, and to report their vaccination status to the university. Vaccines remain our best protection against COVID-19.
Federal regulations may still require students who work in specific settings to be vaccinated, receive the booster when eligible, and upload their health information.
Are vaccinations required to attend private, invitation-only events at Virginia Tech?
Hosts of private, invitation-only events may require attendees to be vaccinated in order to attend indoor or outdoor private events. Individuals may be asked to confirm their own vaccination status by an event host.
Are special guests or invited speakers required to be vaccinated to speak at events?
Hosts can require that speakers are vaccinated. Individual attestation of vaccination status will be accepted. The hosts can rescind the invitation if the invited guest is not vaccinated. Any contracts with speakers must address the need to be vaccinated if it is going to be a participation requirement.
Will we be moving our instruction online?
Our goal is to operate safely and in person to the greatest extent possible, while also protecting our community. Any updates will be provided on the Ready website.
Who is required to be tested?
In a Jan. 31 message to the Virginia Tech community, President Tim Sands announce the discontinuation of mandatory testing for unvaccinated students. Voluntary testing will be provided for students and employees and is encouraged if you are symptomatic or have been exposed to COVID-19.
How do I get tested?
For more information on testing, including scheduling a test or finding testing clinics, visit the testing page.
Will testing be provided at the Washington, D.C., area campuses?
Testing will be available. More information will be available soon.
Will there be isolation and quarantine spaces on campus in the spring?
For the 2021-22 academic year, Virginia Tech will not operate a COVID-19 quarantine and isolation program. It is important for students to work with families to develop an advance plan should they become infected with COVID-19. As with any communicable disease, the Schiffert Health Center and the Dean of Students Office will work closely with students to implement their plan — or discern alternative solutions as needed.
However, we will have limited isolation and quarantine space to accommodate students who cannot return to their primary residence.
Do I need to pay to park for Blacksburg campus testing?
Blacksburg campus testing sites will require a valid parking permit. If a student or employee only needs to park for a short amount of time, the ParkMobile app provides an on-demand option to purchase parking. For more information, visit the Transportation Services site.