Hygiene best practices
When returning to campus, all members of the university should follow these public health measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, flu, and other viruses.
Under the governor’s Executive Order 63, all campus community members are required to wear a face covering when in close proximity to others in both indoor and outdoor spaces. This includes classrooms, workspaces, residence halls, dining halls, Blacksburg Transit, and other campus spaces. Face coverings can be reusable or homemade cloth masks, dust masks, or surgical masks. Click here to learn more about face coverings, including when to wear one, caring for your mask, and more.
In conjunction with wearing a face covering and practicing good personal hygiene, physical distancing is an important component in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus. When in doubt, strive to stay 6 feet away from others in both indoor and outdoor settings. Virginia Tech will also play a role in helping to foster physical distancing in such ways as rearranging classroom furniture, altering traffic flow in and out of buildings, installing distancing floor decals, and much more.
The governor’s continued restrictions on gathering sizes reflect the seriousness with which we need to adhere to public health guidelines and protect those around us, particularly the most vulnerable. Should the Dean of Students Office or the Blacksburg Police Department need to respond to concerns about noise violations or disruptive parties, a referral will be made to the Student Conduct office for their follow-up. We are asking students to take personal responsibility in helping to keep the public safe. In the spring semester, students responded accordingly, and we expect that they will do the same in the fall semester.
Personal hygiene - what you can do to stop the spread of viruses like coronavirus and the flu:
- Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Wash your hands often and for 20 seconds at a time.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Stay home if you are sick.
Cleaning and disinfecting:
Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness across all university facilities. Click here to learn about enhanced on-campus cleaning and disinfecting procedures, the installation of new hand-sanitizer stations, and other useful information. Follow these helpful CDC guidelines for tips on cleaning and disinfecting personal living and office spaces.
Don’t forget about the flu:
Flu season will begin ramping up in early fall. Find the latest resources around flu prevention at Virginia Tech.
Mental Health & Well-Being
Whether we’re on campus or still at home, our mental health remains an important part of staying healthy. Hokie Wellness continues to maintain virtual offerings that all students, faculty, and staff can access.
Your mental health and well-being is our top priority, and we have a variety of resources available to you:
Testing, Tracing, and Isolation
In preparation for faculty, staff, and students to return to campus this fall, Virginia Tech has developed a comprehensive testing, tracing, and case management plan as part of its broader effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The plan includes guidelines for initial and ongoing screening and testing of students and employees, cooperation with local health department contact-tracing investigations, and effective case management within the university population should an employee or student become infected.
All members of the Virginia Tech community who plan to return to work, go to class, and live on campus during the fall semester will be strongly encouraged to participate in COVID-19 screening, through a combination of daily health verification surveys and testing.
The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Blacksburg community was reported on Friday, March 27.
The Virginia Department of Health provides daily updates about cases across Virginia and in every region and locality of the commonwealth.
Signs and Symptoms
The scientific and medical understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve. A range of symptoms have been reported, including:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- New gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
While the scientific understanding of COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, a growing body of research suggests certain persons infected with the novel coronavirus may not show apparent symptoms, and these individuals may be able to transmit infection. The percentage of persons who are infected but never show symptoms of COVID-19 is currently unclear.
Flu season is just around the corner! It is never too early to start protecting yourself from the flu. While COVID-19 is on everybody’s mind right now, flu season will begin ramping up again in early fall. Click here for flu information, resources, and prevention strategies. Information about scheduled flu shot clinics will be posted on this site when it is available in early fall 2020.
Public Health Measures
A series of guidelines for implementing public health measures were developed as part of the university’s planning efforts toward resuming in-person instruction and experiential-learning opportunities for the fall semester.
Tips and Prevention
If you're sick
If you are sick with COVID-19 or you think you might have it, follow these steps.
Call the New River Health District COVID-19 hotline at 540-267-8240 with any questions about symptoms, such as a fever, cough, or trouble breathing.
Call ahead before going to the doctor.
- Call the Schiffert Health Center at 540-231-6444 if you are a student.
- Call the LewisGale Hospital Emergency Department at 540-951-1111.
- Call your doctor’s office and tell them about your symptoms.
Seek emergency care for shortness of breath, chest pain/pressure, bluish lips/face.
Stay home except for medical care.
Follow medical advice before leaving home.
Wash hands with with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Stay Away from people and animals
Clean high-touch surfaces daily.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Don't share items like dishes or bedding.
wear a face covering/mask
Wash your hands often!
Slow the spread of sickness by washing your hands often.
Wash your hands after:
Being in a public space
Blowing your nose
Sneezing or coughing
Wash for 20 seconds with soap and water:
Lather hands with soap of any kind
Lather the backs of your hands
Lather under nails and in between fingers
No soap and water?:
Use hand-sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
Cover all surfaces of your hands
Rub until your hands are dry
Practice Physical Distancing
Learn how you can slow the spread of of COVID-19.
Physical distancing and staying home keep the virus from spreading rapidly.
You might be young, and not at risk.
Still, you can slow down the virus and help save lives.
The best prevention is to avoid exposure.
The virus appears to spread incoughs and sneezes.
Avoid close contact.
Stay home if you can. Avoid crowded places.
Keep a 6-foot distance from others.
No events with more than 50* people.
Organizers should modify events to be virtual.
Practice physical distancing and hand hygiene.
* According to Virginia Phase Two Guidelines
10 ways to limit the spread
Avoid crowded places.
Stand 6 feet apart from people in public.
Stay away from people who are sick.
04 & 05
Wear a face covering/mask.
Stay home if you are sick.
Clean and disinfect surfaces often (at least daily).
Wash your hands with soap and water.
Avoid handshakes and high-fives.
Cover cought and sneezes with the inside of your elbow.
Create a household plan in case a family member is infected.