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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs 

How can I prepare for the spring semester?

This overview of the spring semester plan offers further detail on self-quarantining, the academic calendar, testing, pods, isolation and quarantine, vaccinations, and continued vigilance. Additionally, students can follow this checklist as they prepare for the semester. 

What do I need to know about COVID-19 vaccines?

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has the lead role in vaccine distribution. The VDH’s New River Health District (NRHD) is managing the vaccine rollout for the Blacksburg campus, while other health districts are doing the same for other Virginia Tech locations. The university is actively supporting VDH and local health district efforts to ensure that vaccines are distributed to those who qualify under the guidelines of phases 1a and 1b.

While a timeline for vaccine distribution to those in phase 1c – which includes many university employees and students – is unknown, continued patience and vigilance toward all public health guidelines is critical. Before and after vaccination, each person should continue to wear masks, maintain physical distance, avoid crowds, and wash hands in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

For those who live in the New River Valley region, visit to sign up for email news and get information related to the vaccine.

Read more about the vaccine and plans for its distribution from the Virginia Department of Health.

If I get the COVID-19 vaccine, will this protect my family and friends? Will I have to keep taking other precautions, such as wearing a mask and distancing from others?

According to the Virginia Department of Health, the vaccine will help keep you from getting sick from COVID-19, but scientists are not yet sure if a person who has been vaccinated can still give the virus to other people. There is limited information on how well the vaccine can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and how long a person's protection lasts. That means it is important for everyone to get vaccinated and to continue their vigilance with all public health guidelines, such as wearing masks and following physical distancing recommendations. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines here.

How is Virginia Tech caring for students and employees with COVID?

The university continues to strengthen its case management efforts to support employees and students affected by COVID. Additional employee case managers are coming on board, a new Student Advocate program assists students in on-campus isolation and quarantine spaces, and a digital case management platform has been implemented.  

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.

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.

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.

Area Specific FAQ pages

A variety of area-specific FAQ pages are available.