Prepare for fall semester with these steps to protect yourself and the community
From: Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost; Interim Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer
As noted in the Aug. 8 letter, please follow these guidelines in preparation for the start of the fall semester.
Guidelines for all in the community
- The university strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. Visit Vaccinate Virginia for vaccination sites in the commonwealth.
- Masking is always welcome anywhere at Virginia Tech, and the last few years have clearly shown that masks dramatically reduce the spread of airborne infections, including COVID-19. Masks are required in Schiffert Health Center.
- Do not attend work or gatherings if you are sick. Test if you suspect COVID-19.
- Employee “at-will testing” will end on Aug. 26. Employees are encouraged to visit the VDH website to find free COVID-19 testing sites throughout Virginia. Kits may also be obtained through the U.S. federal government and participating community libraries. Virginia Tech Human Resources will maintain a small inventory of test kits to meet unforeseen circumstances; employees can contact the HR Service Center for more information.
- The university will also provide at-home rapid tests to students through Schiffert Health Center.
- If you are advised that you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the next steps depend on your vaccination status. Visit the VDH’s Isolation & Quarantine Calculator for information.
Guidelines for employees·
- You are no longer required to email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact EHS Case Managers if you have tested positive or believe you have been a close contact of someone who has tested positive. Virginia Tech will no longer offer case management services for employees or students, or publish the COVID-19 Dashboard; however email@example.com will remain available during fall semester for employee questions.
- The Virginia Department of Health calls for any COVID-19-positive person to isolate for at least five days and notify close contacts. Visit the VDH Isolation & Quarantine Calculator for more information.
- Do not attend work or events at Virginia Tech for at least five days or as long as you are sick. Follow the university’s sick-time policies.
- Virginia no longer offers Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL). If you are out because of a COVID-19 diagnosis, please use sick or other appropriate leave.
- If you feel able to work and your position allows you to work remotely, please coordinate with your supervisor, dean, or chair as appropriate.
Guidelines for students
- All residential students are strongly encouraged to complete an at-home COVID test prior to moving onto campus this fall.
- We recommend that you use an at-home antigen test 48-72 hours before returning for the fall semester.
- If your test result is negative, please test again the day you travel to campus.
- If you test positive, please do the following
- We no longer offer isolation/quarantine housing, and we will not move COVID-19 positive students from their rooms. Therefore, it is critical that all residential students work with their families and their roommate(s) to develop a plan in advance should they or their roommate become infected with COVID-19.
- If you or your roommate(s) become infected with COVID-19:
- Those infected should immediately begin wearing a mask if symptomatic for COVID-19 and continue doing so in all campus facilities—including inside the residence halls (including rooms) for ten days and until symptoms improve.
- Once on campus, Schiffert Health Center will serve as the best resource for care and information
Guidelines for faculty responding to student illness
- Virginia Tech students who test positive for COVID-19 need to isolate and not attend in-person classes for at least five days. Visit the VDH’s Isolation & Quarantine website for additional information. Students should seek absence verification from the Dean of Students.
- Please accommodate students who need to miss class for a short period of time, as with any other illness. If you have a group of students who are out, you might consider recording lectures and/or using other means to provide instructional content.
- It is essential that faculty respect the medical privacy of students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact. Please do not share with the class that a student is in quarantine or isolation, nor make testing or other recommendations based on that information.
- Resources are available for facilitating student access to academic activities in virtual environments. Visit Continuity in Teaching and Learning to learn more.