To the Virginia Tech community: Take these steps for a successful return for fall 2022
Dear members of the Virginia Tech community,
We're looking forward to a vibrant fall semester. While the threat of COVID-19 has shifted, and we have developed coping mechanisms and personal knowledge to mitigate its effects, the disease still exists within our community. We want to share an update on how we are managing COVID-19 and what you can do to help all of us have an on-campus student experience and help protect our community at large.
Like the flu and other common viruses and illnesses, COVID-19 is now one illness among many that university employees and students manage on a regular basis. We will continue to monitor and inform our community on the guidance and resources available, but believe that the time has come for us to stand down the daily emergency management of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. We will remain vigilant and we will update the community as appropriate and, of course, return to more consistent communication if necessary.
Please watch for the updates in the Daily Email and — when appropriate — through special email sends to campus. Please continue to follow public health guidance and consider the health and well-being of your fellow Hokies as well as yourself.
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 the 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:
- Isolate at home for five days or until symptoms improve.
- Contact the Housing Office to let them know your situation, and upload your positive test results to the Schiffert Health Center health portal.
- 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.
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.
We have come a long way in understanding how to manage a pandemic and how to care for the community. We are grateful for all the support and acceptance of the reality of the impact of COVID-19 on our campus. We are looking forward to a great semester.
Executive Vice President and Provost
Interim Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer