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DC Area FAQ

This page is meant to answer questions and provide resources specific to faculty, staff, and students in the D.C. metro area. Responses may change as new information is available from the university.

Dashboard: D.C. Area COVID-19 Testing

The information within this dashboard is updated on the Monday following each round of surveillance testing clinics, which occur every two weeks, and uses data that captures to the extent possible the status of COVID-19 in the population of VT employees, students, and contractors, working onsite in the D.C. metro area, as well as non-VT occupants of the VTRC-A, in order to inform our community and provide metrics which will be useful in the decision-making processes related to building operations. This data does not include tests or positive results that have been self-reported.

results as of 11/23/2020

Clinic Dates Total Tests Total Positive Tests
Nov. 17-19 730
Nov. 3-5 680
Oct. 20-22 700

While we strive for accuracy, we cannot guarantee this information is complete. While our goal is to be as transparent as practical, Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining the privacy of individuals who are affected by COVID-19 and therefore will not be providing any additional information concerning those who are affected.

Will testing be available to students, faculty, and staff in the D.C. metro area?

Yes, Virginia Tech is conducting surveillance testing of students and employees in the D.C. metro area as of October 20. While it is not mandatory, this testing helps the administration, individuals, and units, in our community plan building needs in relation to what we can expect in terms of the prevalence amongst the D.C. area population. If you plan to work in any of the Virginia Tech buildings in the region regularly, for a significant amount of time, please take advantage of the testing.


The D.C. area locations follow the Virginia Tech guidelines for the implementation of public health measures. Virginia Tech has established a protocol to support off-campus students being tested for, or confirmed to have, COVID-19.

According to Virginia Tech’s testing, tracing, and case management plan students living in university residence halls were required to take an initial test administered by the Schiffert Health Center. The Gallery residence hall in the D.C. area follows this protocol.

Off-campus students who are at-risk – those who believe or know they have been exposed to the virus, traveled to the D.C. metro area from another hot spot, or have symptoms or other indications of exposure – should contact Schiffert Health Center or their primary care physician to determine whether they should be tested. All students who are tested are expected to self-quarantine until results are returned. Any student who is unsure whether they should be tested is encouraged to contact Schiffert to determine if a test is warranted. Students should inform the Dean of Students Office if Schiffert, their primary care physician, or the Virginia Department of Health indicates they should be tested for COVID-19.

Employees should also report to Human Resources and/or Environmental Health and Safety if their health care provider or the Virginia Department of Health indicates they should be tested for COVID-19. 

Testing FAQs

What if I don't work in the building on the day of the testing?

If you and your supervisor agree that you regularly work on-site at a VT facility, you should get a test each week it is offered, using whatever clinic location is most convenient.

Is there a charge for the test?

No, there is no charge for the test.

Can I change my appointment?

Yes, you can make changes to your appointment up to 12 hours before your scheduled time using the links in the confirmation email.

Should get tested again / each time it is available?

YES! Testing over time helps us all be better informed about health risks and trends. If you continue to regularly work on-site at a VT facility, you should get a test each week it is offered.

How will I be contacted about my test results?

You should expect a call about 2-3 business days later. Please expect this call. Note that the call may come from an unlisted or private phone number within the testing company with the caller ID blocked.

If you are tested on Tuesday, you should receive a phone call with your results on Thursday. If you are tested at the Wednesday or Thursday clinics, you should expect a call the following Monday.  If you believe you have not received a call, or missed the call, please contact Chris Bolling at 540-231-7659 with your name and date of testing.


What protocol should faculty/staff/students follow before going to a building?

Before initially returning to a Virginia Tech facility in the D.C. area, please refer to the Virginia Tech employee checklist and the Virginia Department of Health's new app, COVIDWISE. The Hokie Ready mobile app also hosts a daily wellness check that should be completed before coming to a facility each day.

Please also continue to work with your departments and supervisors on plans for resuming activities, and stay up to date through the ready.vt.edu site, VT News, and the Virginia Tech Daily Email.


What is the course start/end timeline for graduate students in Northern Virginia?

Graduate students in Northern Virginia follow the same academic calendar as our students in Blacksburg. Classes started Aug. 24 and the semester will end Dec. 16. All in-person instruction will end prior to the Thanksgiving break and the semester will end with online instruction.


Are classes in Falls Church, Arlington, and the WAAC in Alexandria in-person or online?

We are committed to the safety, health, and well-being of our community, and to following the recommended public health practices as we transition to an on-campus learning and research environment. We are conducting a hybrid format of online and in-person instruction in Northern Virginia, preserving experiential learning opportunities and a commitment to an inclusive community. Faculty have primary responsibility for the selection of the mode of instructional delivery (online versus in-person), in consultation with department heads. Some classes may be completely online, if the mode is appropriate for the overall goal of the course while providing as much experiential learning as possible.


If I have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with symptoms, what should I do?

Per university guidance, D.C. area Virginia Tech community members can contact Environmental Health and Safety, via VT-EHS@vt.edu or 540-231-3600, and your local medical provider. If it is a medical emergency, dial 911. Please notify all health providers or dispatchers of your symptoms when first reaching out.


How is mail being handled?

If you are primarily teleworking, you should consider continuing to have mail and packages delivered to your home address. Get details on the impact to procurement orders from Mail Services.

Alexandria (WAAC): Mail and packages may be delivered, but no one should expect timely receipt as there is no one on-site to sort it or notify recipients. Faculty, staff, and students were reminded to set up mail forwarding at the U.S. Postal Service if they had not already done so and to update their delivery addresses at other vendors.

Arlington: Mail services, including weekly Campus Mail service, resumed at the Virginia Tech Research Center as of Aug. 11. Please place campus mail items in the designated envelope in the second-floor mailroom. The packet of campus mail will be shipped overnight to Blacksburg every Thursday between 4 p.m and 5 p.m.

Falls Church (Northern Virginia Center): The regular fourth-floor mailroom is operational. The mailroom should remain locked at all times. Department representatives have a code to access the mailroom.

The campus mail package from the Northern Virginia Center to Blacksburg has resumed. Mail to Blacksburg must be taken to the fourth-floor mailroom by noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Are Virginia Tech buildings in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area open to the public?

Virginia Tech transitioned from essential operations to modified operations on Aug. 3.

Alexandria (WAAC): The buildings are locked at all times. Students, faculty, and staff have fobs to allow entry. No drop-in visitors will be allowed. Anyone needing an in-person appointment will need to arrange it ahead of time with their contact person.

Arlington: While most of the research center is not a public building, access to the second floor during normal working hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Monday through Thursday has been restored. Access on Fridays is still restricted to individuals with fobs.

The Executive Briefing Center is open and able to support both internal and external meetings but cannot support pop-up or same-day requests. Please email llacour@vt.edu at least three (3) business days before the meeting date to request a reservation.

Falls Church (Northern Virginia Center): Regular hours have resumed.


Is the Executive Briefing Center at VTRC-Arlington still open?

The Virginia Tech Executive Briefing Center located in the Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington is open and able to support meetings and events. All requests for support must be submitted a minimum of three business days in advance. Requests should be sent to llacour@vt.edu.


What do I do if I have a facility need or issue?

Alexandria (WAAC): The main telephone number is operational and questions can be sent to rsteph@vt.edu or to bfelts@capitolcorp.com.

Arlington: Continue to use the vt-ncr-arlington-facilities-g@vt.edu email list to raise suggestions and questions about operations in the building, schedule conference rooms, communicate about facility issues, or schedule onboarding or other help requests. Our main telephone (571-858-3000) is operational, and mail and package delivery has resumed.

Falls Church (Northern Virginia Center): Continue to email facilities@vt.edu or call 703-538-8440. We are strongly encouraging people to spend as little time in the NVC as possible.


Is IT help still available in the greater Washington, D.C., area?

Yes. If you have any questions or need assistance, please continue to contact us via nvccomputerhelp@vt.edu for the NVC and computerhelp@vt.edu for Arlington and Alexandria.


How will live events proceed?

Events will be conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines and Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia Tech requirements. Many events in the D.C. metro area are encouraged to continue to use an online format.


Is the library accessible?

The NVC Library in Falls Church is open to faculty and students. Fall semester hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Friday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Students can reserve a study table or room through the online reservation system.

We are making Hokie Passports, the official university ID card, by appointment Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Appointments at other times may be available by contacting us. Email (nvclibrary@vt.edu) or call (703-538-8340) for assistance with your research and library questions.


Is the Campus Connect shuttle still running?

Please refer to the Campus Shuttle web page for updated information. https://parking.vt.edu/alternative/regional/ncr-shuttle.html


I still need to get around the area, where do I find area status information?

University community members in the D.C. area should also stay informed of the actions taken by their local public health authorities.

Information from local governments
Washington, D.C.: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/
Arlington County: https://health.arlingtonva.us/covid-19-coronavirus-updates/
City of Alexandria: https://www.alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus
Fairfax County: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/covid19/
City of Falls Church: https://www.fallschurchva.gov/
Loudoun County: https://www.loudoun.gov/5307/Coronavirus
Prince William County: https://www.pwcgov.org/

NoVA Bus and Rail Transit: https://www.novatransit.org/systems/
Many of you may still require the use of public transit for basic needs while you practice social distancing. Keep in mind that local transit systems may run on alternate schedules. Refer to the NoVA Bus and Rail Transit website for up to date information on your respective transit system.