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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 if you're not fully vaccinated.

MASKS

Updated: June 10, 2021

In alignment with Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 72, Executive Order 79, and new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on masks, students and employees at Virginia Tech who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear masks in most indoor settings.

Those who are unvaccinated are strongly encouraged to make an appointment for vaccination unless there is a medical or religious exemption. Those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks in indoor settings.

The exceptions for which masks are still required are:

  • Riding Blacksburg Transit or other forms of mass transportation;
  • Visiting or working at Schiffert Health Center;
  • Virginia Tech Environmental Health & Safety Occupational Health Clinic.

Where there is a conflict between occupational-specific guidelines and this notice, the CDC guidance for specific industries and occupations should be followed.

Beginning May 28, Virginia Tech will align with the Governor’s Executive Order 79, which further relaxes all distancing and capacity restrictions and removes all limits on gathering sizes.

All members of the Virginia Tech community who are not yet vaccinated are strongly encouraged to do so. Public health officials have stated that the vaccines are the best way to protect oneself and the community from COVID-19. Governor Northam has summarized the situation this way: “The message is clear: Vaccinations are how we put this pandemic in the rearview mirror and get back to being with the people we love and doing the things we have missed.”

The university will share updates on any related changes and as state directives are updated, Virginia Tech will review and align, as appropriate, with state and federal guidelines. Any university-specific exceptions will be identified such as those above. Guidance on vaccinations and testing for the fall semester will be provided in early June.

Learn how to get your shot at Vaccinate.Virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN VA. From 8 a.m.  to 8 p.m.

Physical distancing

Updated: June 3, 2021

Physical distancing is an important component in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus. If you have not been vaccinated, you're expected to stay at least 6 feet away from others in both indoor and outdoor settings. 

In the workplace and other Virginia Tech settings, the university will continue to help foster physical distancing in such ways as:

  • access control to unused spaces
  • furniture arrangements to encourage physical distancing
  • assigned seating
  • maintaining 6 feet of separation between occupants if they are not vaccinated
  • 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.

Gathering sizes

(Updated May 28, 2021)

In order to continue to manage the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia Tech will restrict outdoor gatherings to 250 people, and indoor gatherings on campus continue to be limited to 100 people. The Town of Blacksburg will continue to restrict all gatherings to no more than 50 people either indoors and outdoors.

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.  

The 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.

Mental Health and Well-being

Whether you’re on campus or at home, your mental health and well-being is our top priority. Hokie Wellness 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.

Get a flu shot (find the latest resources).

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

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.

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

Download the Hokie Ready app for Android or Apple devices.

Complete the Hokie Health ✔️survey each day before coming to any Virginia Tech campus location.*

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.

The 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 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. 

Learn more about enhanced cleaning procedures, the installation of new hand-sanitizer stations, and more. Please also refer to these university guidelines.

Parking and transportation

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

All university community members must display a permit or pay an hourly or daily fee to park on the Blacksburg campus. Learn more about all of your parking options.

The Blacksburg Transit (BT) website also highlights the latest schedule updates.