COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

Update - Feb. 26, 2020 - Letter sent to all Hokies studying abroad

Hokies abroad,

As you are likely aware, there is an outbreak of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) that has reported cases in 30 countries. Virginia Tech is monitoring the situation closely. The health and safety of our Hokies abroad is of utmost importance to us. The current risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing COVID-19) to Virginia Tech students studying abroad is generally low in most countries. As this situation progresses, we will address individual programs on a case-by-case basis.

We recommend students follow guidance from their host institution and host nation. Health recommendations from the Schiffert Health Center are also applicable for students studying abroad.

Read the full letter


COVID-19 Overview

Virginia Tech students, faculty, and stakeholders are highly engaged across the globe in impactful research, academic, and service activities.

Recognizing the university’s mission of service and global reach and its commitment to the safety of all members of our community, Virginia Tech remains dedicated to supporting its international campus community and those conducting research and studying abroad by offering the latest information and resources related to COVID-19 (previously referred to as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus).

Please visit this page often for the latest updates around COVID-19. The most recent information can be found below.

Across the globe, there is an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. The health and safety of Hokies is of the utmost priority. Virginia Tech officials are closely monitoring the situation. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Virginia Tech.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2, previously referred to as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), is a virus that can be spread from person to person. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially named the virus COVID-19. It was first detected in Wuhan, China, and has quickly spread throughout China and is confirmed to be present in other countries. Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Health are closely monitoring the situation.

In response to COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Warning – Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel advisory for China on Jan. 27, 2020; the U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Advisory Level 4: Do Not Travel to China on Jan. 30, 2020; the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC) on Jan. 30, 2020; and the White House issued a Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus on Jan. 31, 2020.

In accordance with Virginia Tech Policy 1070, Global Travel Policy, because of the CDC Warning Level 3 advisories, no travel is authorized to China or South Korea and no travel is authorized from China or South Korea.

Should CDC travel warnings reach Level 3 for a country, Virginia Tech’s Global Travel Policy 1070 will restrict travel to and from such impacted counties. Please continue to monitor this page for the latest updates. 

Many major airlines continue to cancel flights because of underutilization and concern for exposure. The logistics of traveling in and out of China and South Korea are increasingly difficult.

No cases of COVID-19 have been reported among the university community.

All university community members with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Schiffert Health Center at 540-231-6444. Those outside Blacksburg should contact Schiffert Health Center or their local medical provider.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of flu and respiratory diseases and flu, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The CDC estimates that the flu has caused at least 14,000 deaths in the U.S. already this flu season. The flu is present on all Virginia Tech campuses and is likely to continue to spread. The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu and practicing good hygiene is also highly-important.

Yes. It is strongly encouraged. For students, Schiffert Health Center still has flu vaccines available. Schedule an appointment for a flu shot by calling 540-231-7621.

For employees, vaccinations are available at most local pharmacies and through healthcare providers. State health plan members may get a free flu vaccine at pharmacies participating in their health plan’s network. COVA Care, COVA HDHP and COVA HealthAware members also may receive flu shots at no cost from network physicians’ offices and other participating providers. Kaiser Permanente HMO members must go to a participating Kaiser medical center.

 

  •  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.

 

Virginia Tech has plans in place to respond to an infectious disease incident. The university also has a longstanding working relationship with the Virginia Department of Health. Virginia Tech will collaborate closely with the Department of Health should there be  an occurrence of COVID-19. Information and updates will be shared regularly with the Virginia Tech community via this website and other official university channels.

Travel

In accordance with Virginia Tech Policy 1070, Global Travel Policy, because of the CDC Warning Level 3 advisories, no travel is currently authorized to China and South Korea, and no travel is authorized from China and South Korea.

In extreme circumstances, departments can petition the Global Travel Oversight Committee (GTOC) for a waiver to allow for critical travel. Waivers are not guaranteed and can be revoked at any time, as the situation progresses. Waiver requests require the following information be sent to VTGlobalSafety@vt.edu, 30 days prior to planned travel:

  • Traveler’s relation to Virginia Tech
  • Traveler's full trip itinerary from point of origin
  • Reason exception is warranted
  • Mitigations by the traveler and the sponsoring department
  • Enforcement mechanisms for planned mitigations
  • Other considerations relevant to the individual case


Should CDC travel warnings reach Level 3 for a country, Virginia Tech’s Global Travel Policy 1070 will restrict travel to and from such impacted counties. Please continue to monitor this page for the latest updates. 

 

No travel is authorized to or from China and South Korea. This applies to all faculty, staff, students, and guests. This includes, but is not limited to, faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, international students, post doctorates, visiting scholars and researchers, business partners, training and workshop participants, conference attendees, and job candidates.

Virginia Tech is monitoring this situation closely. Too much is unknown at this time to estimate when Virginia Tech’s travel restriction will be lifted. Individuals and departments that wish to plan future travel to or through China and/or South Korea do so at risk of having to cancel travel because of continued advisories.

irginia Tech does not regulate nor track personal travel. We strongly recommend following CDC and Department of State guidance in not traveling to China and/or South Korea until after the situation improves.

While there is no requirement from Virginia Tech to self-quarantine, university support is available for those that wish to self-quarantine. If a community member wishes to self-quarantine, they are asked to share that decision with appropriate individuals in their department to coordinate support.

If a recent traveler from China experiences a fever, they should seek medical attention immediately either from the Schiffert Health Center (students) or their personal health care provider (non-students). The CDC has specific guidance available for travelers arriving from China.

Additional FAQs and Resources

The Schiffert Health Center (SHC) along with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) continues to monitor the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Currently there are no confirmed cases at Virginia Tech or in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VDH is closely monitoring and investigating any reports of illness in the Commonwealth that may potentially be associated with the novel coronavirus. SHC is also in regular communication with county health officials. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available. Find information on what the public should do.

All individuals presenting to SHC continue to be screened for any recent international travel. Flu activity continues to be high on campus and in the Commonwealth. Flu shots are still available for students at SHC if you have not yet received one. Find more information on preventing the flu.

For more information about the COVID-19, international travel safety, the seasonal flu, and ways to stay healthy, please visit the following links:

 

The latest updates will be posted on this site on an ongoing basis.

 

University Updates

Hokies abroad,

As you are likely aware, there is an outbreak of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) that has reported cases in 30 countries. Virginia Tech is monitoring the situation closely. The health and safety of our Hokies abroad is of utmost importance to us. The current risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing COVID-19) to Virginia Tech students studying abroad is generally low in most countries. As this situation progresses, we will address individual programs on a case-by-case basis.


Read the full letter

In accordance with Virginia Tech Policy 1070, Global Travel Policy, because of the CDC Warning Level 3 advisory, no travel is authorized to South Korea and no travel is authorized from South Korea.

The Virginia Tech Global Travel Oversight Committee has released FAQs around China Travel Restrictions. The FAQs will be updated on an ongoing basis.

 

SARS-CoV-2, previously referred to as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), is a virus that can be spread from person to person, causing a respiratory illness called COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV) was first detected in Wuhan, China, and has quickly spread throughout China and is confirmed to be present in other countries. It is important to know that based on current information, the immediate health risk from SARS-CoV-2 to the general American public is deemed to be low at this time. Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Health are closely monitoring the situation.

In response to SARS-CoV-2, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Warning – Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel advisory for China on Jan. 27. 2020; the U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Advisory Level 4: Do Not Travel to China on Jan. 30. 2020; the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC) on Jan. 30. 2020; and the White House issued a Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus on Jan. 31. 2020.

Many major airlines are canceling flights because of underutilization and concern for exposure. The logistics of traveling in and out of China are increasingly difficult.

In accordance with Virginia Tech Policy 1070, Global Travel Policy, because of the CDC Warning Level 3 advisory, no travel is authorized to China, and no travel is authorized from China.

Additionally, because of the CDC Warning Level 3 advisory, no travel is authorized to South Korea and no travel is authorized from South Korea.

In extreme circumstances, departments can petition the Global Travel Oversight Committee (GTOC) for a waiver to allow for critical travel. Waivers are not guaranteed and can be revoked at any time, as the situation progress. Waiver requests require the following information be sent to VTGlobalSafety@vt.edu, 30 days prior to planned travel:

  • Traveler’s relation to Virginia Tech
  • Traveler's full trip itinerary from point of origin
  • Reason exception is warranted
  • Mitigations by the traveler and the sponsoring department
  • Enforcement mechanisms for planned mitigations
  • Other considerations relevant to the individual case

No travel is authorized to or from China and South Korea. This applies to all faculty, staff, students, and guests. This includes, but is not limited to, faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, international students, post doctorates, visiting scholars and researchers, business partners, training and workshop participants, conference attendees, and job candidates.

Virginia Tech is monitoring this situation closely. Too much is unknown at this time to estimate when Virginia Tech’s travel restriction will be lifted.

Individuals and departments that wish to plan future travel to or through China or South Korea do so at risk of having to cancel travel because of continued advisories. 

Virginia Tech does not regulate or track personal travel. We strongly recommend following CDC and Department of State guidance in not traveling to China and/or South Korea until after the situation improves.

While there is no requirement from Virginia Tech to self-quarantine, university support is available for those that wish to self-quarantine. If a community member wishes to self-quarantine, they are asked to share that decision with appropriate individuals in their department to coordinate support.

If a recent traveler from China or South Korea experiences a fever, they should seek medical attention immediately either from the Schiffert Health Center (students) or their personal health care provider (non-students). The CDC has specific guidance available for travelers arriving from China.

Please see the Schiffert Health Center recommendations for medical support.

Keep in mind that it is flu season.
The CDC estimates that the flu has caused at least 14,000 deaths in the U.S. already this flu season. The flu is present on all VT campuses and is likely to continue to spread.

Please click here to view the email sent to the Chinese international student community from Cranwell International Center, the Office of Dean of Students, and the Graduate School.

Please continue to monitor this page for the latest information concerning coronavirus.

Across the globe, there is an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that originated in Wuhan, China. The health and safety of Hokies is of the utmost priority and we are closely monitoring the situation.

The U.S. Department of State and the CDC issued advisories for mainland China because of the 2019-nCoV outbreak on Jan. 27. 2020. In accordance with Virginia Tech Policy 1070, Global Travel Policy, because of the CDC advisory, no university-supported travel is authorized to China, and no university-supported travel is authorized from China. In extraordinary circumstances, departments can petition the Global Travel Oversight Committee (GTOC) for a waiver for essential travel by contact VTGlobalSafety@vt.edu.


For Hokies on-campus that have recently arrived from China, there is no requirement to self-quarantine. If a community member wishes to self-quarantine, they have the full support of the university and are asked to share that decision with appropriate individuals in their department to coordinate.


If a recent traveler from China experiences a fever, they should seek medical attention immediately either from the Schiffert Health Center or their personal health care provider.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Warning - Level 3, Avoid Non-essential Travel, for China on Jan. 27, 2020. In accordance with Virginia Tech Policy 1070, Global Travel Policy, university-supported travel to and from China is restricted unless extraordinary circumstances are presented to the Global Travel Oversight Committee (GTOC). For more information, contact VTGlobalSafety@vt.edu.

Schiffert Health CenterVirginia Tech Emergency ManagementOutreach and International Affairs, and other university leadership are proactively monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (termed “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and which continues to expand. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the first cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the U.S. in Arizona, California, Illinois, and Washington. To date, there have been no confirmed cases in Virginia.

The CDC has confirmed that there is limited person-to-person spread, but it is still unclear how this virus is spreading between people. While severe illness, including illness resulting in a number of deaths has been reported in China, other patients have had milder illness and been discharged. The CDC is closely monitoring the situation and is working with the World Health Organization (WHO). It is important to know that based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is deemed to be low at this time.

All individuals visiting Schiffert Health Center are screened prior to their appointment for any recent international travel. Those who have traveled from China to the U.S. will be asked questions about their health and travel history. Schiffert Health Center advises anyone to seek medical care and alert a healthcare provider that has traveled to Wuhan City within the past 14 days and is experiencing a fever with or without respiratory symptoms.

All university community members with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Schiffert Health Center at 540-231-6444, their local medical provider if located outside the Blacksburg area, and follow the hygiene and flu prevention tips listed below.

In the Greater Washington, D.C. metro area, as university community members and residents of Northern Virginia may have traveled to China recently, all students and employees are encouraged to contact their local medical provider or Schiffert Health Center at 540-231-6444 with any questions or concerns and follow the hygiene and flu prevention tips listed below.

Any faculty, staff, or students with upcoming travel to Wuhan, China or other areas of concern should contact vtglobalsafety@vt.edu or 540-231-2867.

For more information from the CDC on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, please click here.

As a reminder, seasonal influenza activity in the U.S. and in Virginia continues to be high.

The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu. For students, Schiffert Health Center still has flu vaccines available. Schedule an appointment for a flu shot by calling 540-231-7621.

For employees, vaccinations are available at most local pharmacies and through healthcare providers. State health plan members may get a free flu vaccine at pharmacies participating in their health plan’s network. COVA Care, COVA HDHP and COVA HealthAware members also may receive flu shots at no cost from network physicians’ offices and other participating providers. Kaiser Permanente HMO members must go to a participating Kaiser medical center.

Some healthy habits to help prevent the flu include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub

Coronavirus Information and Resources

For more information about the Coronavirus, international travel safety, the seasonal flu, and ways to stay healthy, please visit the following links:

COVID-19 Global Cases Heatmap by Johns Hopkins CSEE (click map to access)

 

Flu Information and Prevention Resources