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For Employees

Community Wellness Commitment

Be committed. Be well.

In partnership with a range of local health, public safety, education, and government agencies, Virginia Tech has collaborated with the New River Valley Public Health Task Force to develop a Community Wellness Commitment. The commitment outlines 10 tenets, based on well-known public health guidelines, that community members can personally adopt. It remains a driving principle in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Testing

Visit this page for information on what faculty and staff should do if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms or think they have been exposed to COVID-19 and need a test. 

Visit this page if you are a high-contact employee and need information on required surveillance testing.

Human Resources

Resources for faculty, staff and supervisors are available on the Ready Resources for Employees page.

Employees may also contact the HR Service Center Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at hrservicecenter@vt.edu or at 540-231-9331.

Hygiene best practices

Face coverings and masks

Everyone on our campuses (students, faculty, staff, visitors, and others) is required to properly wear a face covering or mask in the following indoor and outdoor settings. Make sure it fully covers the mouth and nose at all times.

Indoors:

Outdoors:

Wear a face covering or mask at all times. Even if you’re momentarily alone, you can expect that you will encounter someone. 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. Exceptions and expectations relating to chronic health conditions are still applicable. However, even under these outdoor conditions, wearing a face covering will set a good example to the community at large.

We trust and expect that members of our Virginia Tech community will each make a personal commitment to wear a face covering or mask, and abide by all public health guidelines, in order to lower the health risks for our community. 

Disposable surgical masks are available at four pickup points across the Blacksburg campus. All members of the university community who forget or lose a mask, or feel like they need a replacement for the day, can pick one up at:

  • Student Services Building, at the Hokie Passport Services lobby area
  • Squires Student Center, at the welcome desk
  • Virginia Tech Police Department, at the security center through the double doors; officers will also maintain extra mask supplies within their cruisers
  • North End Center, at the lobby outside the Procurement suite

The EHS frequently-asked questions page shares further information on face coverings, respirators, the process for departments ordering PPE, workplace accommodations and medical exemptions, and more. 

Students

Students must wear a face covering or mask in indoor and outdoor settings and maintain 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.

When in residence hall common spaces, such as hallways, study lounges, and stairwells, students should wear a face covering at all times. Face coverings should also be worn when in close proximity (less than 6 feet) with others. While in a residence hall room alone or with a roommate, students are not required to wear a face covering. If anyone beyond the primary occupants are in the room, face coverings are required.

Students with specific PPE needs or questions may reach out to Hokie Wellness by emailing hokiewellness@vt.edu or calling (540) 231-2233.

Employees

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.

We encourage supervisors to connect with their employees, as needed, to discuss individual concerns or questions. For the health and safety of the community, those who do not wear face coverings may face disciplinary action.

Instructors

The university has provided face shields for instructors to wear, given that face coverings could make the instructors inaudible to students. 

With regard to face coverings, we encourage instructors to connect with their students, as needed, to continue to discuss individual circumstances. For the health and safety of the community, those who do not wear face coverings may face disciplinary action.

Additionally, the provost’s office has outlined specific guidelines for classroom conduct, including the use of face coverings. 

Researchers

Employees must wear a face covering or mask in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. For guidance on scaling laboratory operations, the use of face coverings in research and laboratory settings, and other useful information, see the Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 FAQs.

Department orders

Departments may order masks, face coverings, and other supplies through Virginia Tech's Procurement Department. 

Physical distancing

In conjunction with wearing a face covering and practicing good personal hygiene, physical distancing is an important component in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus. When in doubt, strive to stay 6 feet away from others in both indoor and outdoor settings. Virginia Tech will continue to play a role in helping to foster physical distancing in such ways as rearranging classroom furniture, altering traffic flow in and out of buildings, installing distancing floor decals, and much more.

The governor’s continued restrictions on gathering sizes reflect the seriousness with which we need to adhere to public health guidelines and protect those around us, particularly the most vulnerable. We are asking employees and students to take personal responsibility in helping to keep the public safe.

Personal hygiene 

What you can do to stop the spread of viruses like coronavirus and the flu:

  • Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wash your hands often and for 20 seconds at a time.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Get a flu shot.
     

Cleaning and disinfecting

Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness across all university facilities. Click here to learn about enhanced on-campus cleaning and disinfecting procedures. Follow these helpful CDC guidelines for tips on cleaning and disinfecting personal living and office spaces.

Don’t forget about the flu

Reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses, like the flu, is more important than ever. Refer to the latest resources around flu prevention at Virginia Tech.

Ordering Critical Supplies

Virginia Tech's centralized process for departmental ordering and campus distribution of personal protective equipment and supplies (PPE) went live July 6. Departments can learn more here.

Physical Spacing in the Workplace

The Virginia Tech community should practice physical distancing and hygiene strategies for indoor spaces on campus to reduce exposure and limit the spread of disease. To support this approach, Virginia Tech will implement mitigation strategies that will include, among other ways, access control to unused spaces; furniture arrangements to encourage physical distancing; assigned seating; maintaining 6 feet of separation between occupants; signs indicating entryways and exit-ways; virtual meeting options; virtual access to meetings, conferences, and other in-person gatherings; and metering the number of occupants at facilities. More details will be published when available.

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.

Facilities

Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness across all of its campus facilities. In conjunction with physical distancing and personal hygiene strategies, to minimize spread and health risks for the most vulnerable populations, the university employs a consistent, thorough, and deliberate cleaning process. Click here to learn more about enhanced cleaning procedures, the installation of new hand-sanitizer stations, and more. Please also refer to these university guidelines.

instruction

Virginia Tech is taking a phased approach to academic instruction, placing emphasis on health and safety in order to conduct in-person instruction that enhances experiential learning. In-person modes of instruction have been prioritized for courses, labs, studios, and performances that cannot be offered remotely at comparable quality.

Visit the Instruction page to get more information.

Research Operations

In the spring semester, Virginia Tech will continue its research in a manner that recognizes the importance of safety, transitions back to an in-person student-learning experience, and continues to ramp up research programs.

  • We are operating under the university’s modified operations status.
  • Most labs can/will be opened. Undergraduate and graduate students working on sponsored research or course credit may return to established or new research projects. 
  • Student volunteer research activity in labs is not advised, due to lab space and physical distancing guidelines. 
  • Colleges and institutes may add additional requirements in their areas. 
  • Allowable research activities require the approval of deans, vice presidents, or institute directors or their designee(s). 
  • The COVID-19 Research and Continuity Guidance microsite contains various resources for researchers, including Phase Three: Reopening Guidance.