Virginia Tech has developed a testing, tracing and case management plan in its efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
The plan includes detailed guidelines for initial and ongoing screening and testing of students and employees, contact tracing investigation and the steps taken if an employee or student becomes infected. The plan was originally released July 1 and updated July 29.
All Virginia Tech community members returning to work, going to class and living on campus during the fall semester are strongly encouraged to get screened for COVID-19. Community members will also be required to complete an online coronavirus awareness training program prior to arriving on campus. Community members are also strongly encouraged to complete a health verification survey called Hokie Health before stepping foot on campus each day. The survey will be available on the Hokie Ready public safety and preparedness mobile app on Aug. 3.
Prior to arriving on campus, students must self-quarantine and wear a face covering for 14 days. Virginia Tech has also required students who reside on campus to sign a COVID-19 Commitment as a part of their housing contract. The commitment requires on-campus residents to practice social distancing, engage in an eight-day quarantine before arriving, avoid public spaces if possible and more.
All students are “strongly encouraged” to secure a negative COVID-19 test result within five days prior to returning to Blacksburg. Students living in on-campus housing will be required to get a test through Schiffert Health Center during the move-in period (August 14th -23) even if they receive a negative result prior to coming to Blacksburg.
Students living off-campus who are categorized as at-risk, recently travel from a hot spot or suspect that they have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact Schiffer Health Center to determine if a test is necessary.
If a student is tested positive they will be required to self-isolate (if symptomatic), or self-quarantine (if asymptomatic) in line with local health department’s guidelines before returning to a Virginia Tech facility or location.
On-campus residents who test positive or potentially expose themselves to COVID-19 will be required to return to their permanent residence and quarantine for 14 days. If a student is unable to return back home they should contact the Dean of Students to determine if they can be accommodated in the university’s isolation and quarantine location. The university’s isolation and quarantine location has limited space.
Students who have a roommate who is required to isolate, and lives in a residence hall with a private or suite-style bathroom with four or fewer people who tested positive may be allowed to quarantine in place with approval from the Dean of Students Office.
The Schiffert Health Center will be coordinating a testing clinic, which is available for students living on campus upon their arrival and then for all students throughout the semester. Symptomatic individuals will have the highest priority for testing. Individuals identified as close contacts of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are high priority for testing. Individuals who have higher interaction with the population, due to their jobs or academic responsibilities, are also held at a higher priority.
Test results from Schiffert Health Center should be available within 48 hours. Until students receive their test results back they are required to limit their movement, wear face coverings and follow public guidelines.
Students and employees can also access testing through their personal health care center, urgent care, select pharmacies and the local health department.
Virginia Tech will report all identified individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 to the Virginia Department of Health. The health department will organize contact-tracing, and Virginia Tech will provide additional information as requested. Individuals who test positive will not be publicly identified.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 should inform the Dean of Students Office. The office will provide support for the personal, social and academic needs of each student.
Employees are required to notify their supervisor about missing work due to illness or if they are asked to self-quarantine by the Virginia Department of Health.