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University and public health guidelines

The Virginia Tech community continues to be vigilant in adhering to a range of public health guidelines and university guidelines to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Here’s a quick primer: Remember the three Cs and the M.

  • Avoid Close contact situations. Maintain distance from other people. Six feet doesn’t mark a magic barrier, but the particles do dilute with distance.
  • Avoid Crowds. Being in a large crowd will increase the chance that you will be around someone infected with the virus and that the virus will spread to others.
  • Avoid Closed, poorly ventilated spaces. Imagine a cigarette smoker being in the same space as you. Will you take in any smoke?
  • Wear Masks, effective Aug. 10, at all Virginia Tech owned or leased facilities located in communities with substantial or high community transmission.

MASKS

Updated: Sept. 14, 2021

After a thorough review of public health data including high transmission rates in the New River Valley and across Virginia, and consistent with the advice provided by local and state public health officials, Virginia Tech will extend its requirement of proper use of masks by all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, when indoors in designated public areas until further notice.

In its ongoing effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the growing challenge of the delta variant, and a corresponding rise in cases in communities across the country, and to align with the recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Virginia Tech will require the proper use of masks by all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, when indoors in designated public areas.

As a part of this mandate, the university has instituted an interim requirement for face coverings in instructional spaces at the start of the fall semester. Both instructors and students, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear face coverings in all classrooms and laboratories.

In the case of instructional settings that differ from customary classroom and laboratory configurations, department heads should contact the Office of Emergency Management to determine if any adjustments to the mask wearing requirement may be appropriate.

This mask requirement does not apply to private work places, such as any office, work area, or employment meeting space that is not open to the public in the normal course of business.

Masks are not required in outdoor settings at this time.

Any university faculty, staff, or student located in Blacksburg, Roanoke, or the greater Washington, D.C., metro area who is not fully vaccinated is required to participate in a surveillance testing program that will include mandatory testing at an initial frequency of at least once a week.

Individuals who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated must wear a face covering in Virginia Tech spaces.

TRAVEL-RELATED GUIDANCE

Posted: Sept. 17, 2021

International Travel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated. Virginia Tech travel guidance is informed by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and CDC guidelines for international travel and those returning to Virginia from travel abroad.

Unvaccinated individuals:

  • Get tested 1-3 days before traveling out of the U.S.
  • Get tested before flying to the U.S. (a negative test is required for re-entry regardless of vaccination status)
  • Get a PCR test 3-5 days after your trip and reduce non-essential activities.
  • Do not return to a Virginia Tech facility for 7 days after your return, even if you test negative for COVID-19. Self-quarantine during this time.
  • If you are not able to get tested after international travel, stay home for 10 days after travel before returning to Virginia tech facility.
  • Consult with your HR representative about leave options
  • Self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Wear a face covering and take other precautions during and following travel.

Fully vaccinated individuals:

  • Get tested before flying to the U.S. (a negative test is required for re-entry regardless of vaccination status)
  • Get a PCR test 3-5 days after your trip.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Wear a face covering and take other precautions during travel

Domestic Travel

VDH advises Virginians who are not fully vaccinated to avoid travel. Virginia Tech travel guidance is informed by VDH guidelines for domestic travel for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Face coverings are required on public transportation and in transportation hubs regardless of vaccination status.

Unvaccinated individuals:

  • VDH recommends getting tested 1-3 days before traveling.
  • Wear a face covering and take other precautions during travel.
  • Get a PCR test 3-5 days after your trip and reduce non-essential activities.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after travel.

Fully vaccinated individuals:

  • Do not need to get tested before or after travel.
  • Do not need to stay home (quarantine) after travel.
  • Should wear a face covering and take other precautions during travel.
  • Should self-monitor for symptoms following travel.

Gathering sizes

Updated: May 28, 2021

As of May 28, Virginia Tech aligned with the Commonwealth of Virginia, relaxing all distancing and capacity restrictions and removes all limits on gathering sizes.

The COVID-19 Events Working Group has developed guidance for student programming and university-sanctioned events in an effort to balance the Virginia Tech student experience with mitigation of COVID-19.  

Mental Health and Well-being

Whether you’re on campus or at home, your mental health and well-being is our top priority. VT Better Together highlights a mulitude of mental health resources. Hokie Wellness also continues to maintain virtual offerings that all students, faculty, and staff can access: 

Students

Employees

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.
  • All individuals, vaccinated and unvaccinated, must wear a face covering in public spaces at Virginia Tech.
  • Get a flu shot (find the latest flu resources and clinic information here).

Community Wellness Commitment

Be Committed. Be Well. image of three people wearing masks as part of the Community Wellness Commitment

The Community Wellness 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.

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 the commitment.

Hokie Ready and COVIDWISE apps

Hokie Ready App

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

Students and employees that are fully vaccinated do not need to complete the daily Hokie Health ✔️ self-assessment. However, they should pay attention to their health and stay home if they feel sick. Employees that are unvaccinated should continue to complete the Hokie Health ✔️ self-assessment, wear a mask, monitor for symptoms, and stay home if they feel sick.

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 utilize the paper resource, specifically for students and for faculty, staff, and wage employees. There also is a paper resource 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 who 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.

Facilities

Virginia Tech remains committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness across all of its campus facilities. The university employs a consistent, thorough, and deliberate cleaning process. 

Learn more about enhanced cleaning procedures, the installation of hand-sanitizer stations, and more. Learn about efforts to maximize air quality in university HVAC/ventilation systems.

Parking and transportation

Find the latest information about parking and transportation, including parking on the Blacksburg campus, alternative transportation, and more.

The Blacksburg Transit (BT) website also highlights the latest schedule updates. Masks are required when riding Blacksburg Transit or other forms of mass transportation.

Download guidelines for vehicle occupancy. (Updated Aug. 20, 2021)