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Health Resources

Community Wellness Commitment

Be committed. Be well.

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.

Hokie Ready and COVIDWISE apps

Download the Hokie Ready app for emergency alerts and resources, along with Hokie Health, the new COVID-19 screening tool for employees and students that is located within the app.

In an effort to ensure a safe campus environment for everyone, all students and employees are expected to:

  1. Download the Hokie Ready app for Android or Apple devices.
  2. Complete the Hokie Health survey each day before coming to any Virginia Tech campus location.*
  3. Explore the range of safety features within the app, including contact information for emergencies, a button for reporting police tips, and a friend walk that allows users to send their locations to friends and loved ones so that they can monitor their walk to a specific destination safely.

Click here for more information and frequently asked questions on the Hokie Ready app and the Hokie Health screening survey.

*Those who do not have a smartphone can complete the survey online or in a paper form, specifically for students and for faculty, staff, and wage employees. There also is a paper form for those who contract with the university for goods and services.

COVIDWISE App

Another important resource is COVIDWISE, the commonwealth's official COVID-19 exposure notification mobile app. The app will notify you if you've likely been exposed to another app user that shared a positive COVID-19 test result. Knowing the exposure history allows you to self-quarantine effectively, seek timely medical attention, and reduce potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. 

Hygiene best practices

When returning to campus, all members of the university should follow these public health measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, flu, and other viruses.

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:

  • Wear a face covering or mask unless working alone in a workspace with a closed door or a residence hall room with the door closed. If working or studying in an open-air cubicle, wear a face covering.
    • The exception would be for those with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering.
      • In these instances, these individuals should wear a face shield.
      • Employees who are unable to wear a face covering or face shield should be referred to the university’s ADA and Accessibility Services office.
      • Both face shields and face coverings with clear space over the mouth are available for order by colleges and departments through Virginia Tech Procurement).
      • Face shields or face coverings with clear spaces should be used in:
        • Speaking with those who are hard of hearing.
        • Lecturing in situations where wearing a mask would make them inaudible.

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. 

Students, employees, and visitors are encouraged to obtain their own face coverings before returning to campus. Additionally, in high-traffic areas on campus, one-time-use face coverings will be available, as supplies allow.

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 university’s Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) office has prepared a guide on face coverings and masks, and a recent campus notice offers additional information. 

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

Students

Students must wear a face covering or mask in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings, along with 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.

On-campus residential students received a kit (in their room upon arrival) that contains two cloth reusable face coverings and other supplies.

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 will provide 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 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 team by completing PPE/Critical Supplies Planning Survey. Procurement is distributing PPE ordered through them using a centralized process. Read this campus notice for more information. 

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 also 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. Should the Dean of Students Office or the Blacksburg Police Department need to respond to concerns about noise violations or disruptive parties, a referral will be made to the Student Conduct office for their follow-up. We are asking students to take personal responsibility in helping to keep the public safe. In the spring semester, students responded accordingly, and we expect that they will do the same in the fall semester.

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.
     

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, the installation of new hand-sanitizer stations, and other useful information. Follow these helpful CDC guidelines for tips on cleaning and disinfecting personal living and office spaces.

Don’t forget about the flu

Flu season will begin ramping up in early fall. Find the latest resources around flu prevention at Virginia Tech.

Mental Health & Well-Being

Whether we’re on campus or still at home, our mental health remains an important part of staying healthy. Hokie Wellness continues to maintain virtual offerings that all students, faculty, and staff can access.

Your mental health and well-being is our top priority, and we have a variety of resources available to you:

Testing, Tracing, and Case Management

The university has transitioned to ongoing diagnostic testing and surveillance testing, led by Schiffert Health Center, for students and high-contact employees.

Students: Schiffert Health Center is aware that many students are trying to figure whether they need a COVID-19 test, how to get a COVID-19 test, or what they should do whether or not they are scheduled to get a test. The following guidance will help students know what they should do next.

Employees: The following guidance will help faculty and staff know what they should do if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms or think they have been exposed to COVID-19 and need a test.

For more information, read the full testing, tracing, and case management plan and a July 28 VT News story that outlines the testing process. 

Confirmed Cases

An online dashboard was launched Aug. 19 to keep the community informed about COVID-19 test results and the number of students in on-campus isolation spaces. Read more about the dashboard

Each Monday, the dashboard will report the number of positive test results and total tests from the Schiffert Health Center, based on the previous week’s information. 

The dashboard will also display the number of students who are in isolation on campus as a result of a positive test. 

The dashboard lists only numbers, not individual identifying information, and it is HIPAA-compliant.

Signs and Symptoms

The scientific and medical understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve. A range of symptoms have been reported, including:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • New gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)

While the scientific understanding of COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, a growing body of research suggests certain persons infected with the novel coronavirus may not show apparent symptoms, and these individuals may be able to transmit infection. The percentage of persons who are infected but never show symptoms of COVID-19 is currently unclear.

Influenza

Flu season is just around the corner! It is never too early to start protecting yourself from the flu. While COVID-19 is on everybody’s mind right now, flu season will begin ramping up again in early fall. Click here for flu information, resources, and prevention strategies. Information about scheduled flu shot clinics will be posted on this site when it is available in early fall 2020.

Public Health Measures

A series of guidelines for implementing public health measures were developed as part of the university’s planning efforts toward resuming in-person instruction and experiential-learning opportunities for the fall semester.

Tips and Prevention

If you're sick

If you are sick with COVID-19, think you might have it, or have questions related to your health, please follow these steps.

Call

CALL

  • Contact your primary care physician or health provider for specific guidance around symptoms and care. Visit with your physician based on the guidance you receive.
  • Additional questions may be directed to the New River Health District COVID-19 hotline at 540-267-8240 or Schiffert Health Center at 540-231-6444 (all employees and students).
  • Call ahead for guidance before visiting a medical provider in-person.
  • If it is an emergency, obtain services from an emergency medical care provider.

Connect

  • Students: Contact the  Dean of Students Office if your diagnosis impacts your ability to attend classes.
  • Employees: Contact your supervisor if your diagnosis impacts your ability to attend work or to arrange leave or telecommuting, where applicable.

Seek medical attention

Seek Help

Seek emergency care for shortness of breath, chest pain/pressure, bluish lips/face.


Stay home

Stay home

Stay home except for medical care.

Feeling Better?

Follow medical advice before leaving home.


Wash hands often

Wash

Wash hands with with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.


Practice social distancing

Stay Away

Stay Away from people and animals


Clean surface

Clean

Clean high-touch surfaces daily.


Cover your mouth

Cover

Cover your coughs and sneezes


Do not share utensils or linens

Don't

Don't share items like dishes or bedding.


Wear a face mask

Wear

wear a face covering/mask


#FlattenTheCurve

Source: CDC


Wash your hands often!

Slow the spread of sickness by washing your hands often.


Wash your hands after:

Being in a public space

Blowing your nose

Sneezing or coughing


Wash for 20 seconds with soap and water:

Lather hands with soap of any kind

Lather the backs of your hands

Lather under nails and in between fingers


No soap and water?:

Use hand-sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

Cover all surfaces of your hands

Rub until your hands are dry


#FlattenTheCurve

Source: CDC


Practice Physical Distancing

Learn how you can slow the spread of of COVID-19.


Physical distancing and staying home keep the virus from spreading rapidly.

You might be young, and not at risk.

Still, you can slow down the virus and help save lives.


The best prevention is to avoid exposure.

The virus appears to spread in coughs and sneezes.


Avoid close contact.

Stay home if you can. Avoid crowded places.


Keep a 6-foot distance from others.


Avoid large gatherings

No nonuniversity-sanctioned/monitored gatherings, on or off campus, larger than 15 people.


Practice physical distancing and hand hygiene.


#FlattenTheCurve

Source: CDC


10 ways to limit the spread


01

Avoid crowded places.


6 6

02

Stand 6 feet apart from people in public.


03

Stay away from people who are sick.


04 & 05

Wear a face covering/mask.

Stay home if you are sick.


06

Clean and disinfect surfaces often (at least daily).


07

Wash your hands with soap and water.


08

Avoid handshakes and high-fives.


09

Cover cought and sneezes with the inside of your elbow.


10

Create a household plan in case a family member is infected.


#FlattenTheCurve

Source: CDC