In order for this to happen, the university is aiming for a mass student vaccination clinic to take place by the end of spring semester. President Tim Sands announced the plans at a virtual town hall meeting Thursday, March 18.
Due to the increasing number of vaccines going out in the state — over 1 million have been distributed so far — the university is hopeful that a campus vaccine clinic will be possible. President Joe Biden also announced that all adults will be eligible to receive the vaccine by May 1, thus increasing the likelihood of a campus-wide vaccine clinic being held.
“We’re very hopeful that students will have the opportunity to be vaccinated before the end of the spring semester, and that this can be done in a very organized fashion and rather quickly,” Sands said.
Virginia Tech’s plan for an in-person fall semester is dependent on vaccines being readily available to students and faculty so social distancing is no longer necessary. The university hopes for a majority of students to be vaccinated before the start of the semester, but they will continue their vigilant prevalence testing regardless.
“We are excited to begin preparations for a fully in-person experience this upcoming fall at Virginia Tech,” Sands said. “My hope and expectation is that the fall semester experience will be much like the pre-pandemic experience, with enhancements based on what we have learned through the course of the pandemic.”
No decision has been made yet in regards to masks in classrooms and on-campus events. The university will release an announcement closer to fall, depending on state requirements and the progression of the pandemic.
President Sands is hopeful that the fall semester will bring back a sense of normalcy that has been absent this past year.
“I look forward to a time when students may study abroad again, when students and faculty will work side by side to discuss and solve global issues, when campus comes alive with a multitude of activities and alumni and parents are frequent visitors, when downtown Blacksburg is bustling with students and residents, and when the ground beneath Lane Stadium shakes on football weekends,” Sands said. “I am more hopeful and optimistic than ever that this time will come this fall and that Virginia Tech will feel like the Virginia Tech we all love and cherish.”