To the Virginia Tech community,

We’ve almost completed our first week of classes, and I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has worked so hard to bring us back together — faculty, staff, students, and our community partners.  I especially want to thank the students, families, and Hokie Helpers who were part of our successful extended move-in.

Currently, our COVID-19 Dashboard shows 21 positive cases out of 9,041 individuals tested. That tells me our students heeded the request to self-quarantine before coming to campus. This says a lot about their character and commitment, and I remain hopeful that our on-campus fall semester will continue. While we expect to see an increase in cases, we are prepared to address this challenge with robust testing, tracing, and, when necessary, quarantine or isolation.

Our community has done a remarkable job so far, and now it’s up to each one of us to keep our campus open. Your role is to follow the university guidelines, honor our Community Wellness Commitment, and protect your peers and community members both on and off campus. Don’t let your guard down, do put the parties on hold, and do wear a mask.

Although we are appropriately focused now on managing COVID-19 while bringing the campus up towards a partially in-person fall semester, we must take time to reflect on where we have been and where we are headed. I’ll be sharing more about Virginia Tech’s recent progress and vision for the future during my virtual State Of The University Address later in the semester.

This past Saturday I had the privilege of watching the New Cadet Pass in Review on the Drillfield. It was uplifting to see hundreds of new cadets participating in this important university tradition while also following the necessary distance and safety protocols. Hokies, we can do this. Let’s all work to keep our fall semester on campus, and keep our community together.

Remain vigilant. Be committed. Be well.

Tim Sands,

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