Virginia Tech developed a framework and process for scaling operations, with the goal to move from “essential operations” status to a modified operations mode that continues to recognize the importance of safety, transitions back to an in-person student-learning experience, and ramps up research programs. As research carefully transitions to Phase Two, it must do so in accordance with commonwealth and Virginia Tech policy, allowing researchers to resume additional research activities with appropriate PPE and with continued strict adherence to safety/hygiene and physical distancing requirements. The speed of reopening labs will vary, and many operations will not be at full functionality. Allowable research activities continue to require the approval of deans, vice presidents, or institute directors or their designee(s). The COVID-19 Research and Continuity Guidance microsite contains various resources for researchers, including Phase Two: Reopening Guidance.
Research PPE and Hygiene
For guidance on scaling laboratory operations, the use of face coverings in research and laboratory settings, and other useful information, see Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 FAQs.
Under the governor’s Executive Order 63, all university community members at Virginia Tech facilities are required to wear a face covering when in close proximity to others in both indoor and outdoor settings. This includes classrooms, workspaces, labs, residence halls, dining halls, Blacksburg Transit, and other campus spaces when a 6-foot physical distance cannot be maintained.