Note: This page is intended for media professionals. For the latest from Virginia Tech's administration about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19; operations information; human resources help; instructional updates for students and faculty; travel restrictions and safety; event planning; the seasonal flu; and ways to stay healthy, please visit the university's COVID-19 information page.

Last updated: June 26, 2020. Additional scholars with expertise related to the global spread of the novel coronavirus will be added to this page as they become available.

Media contacts:
Jordan Fifer | jordanfifer@vt.edu | 540-231-6997
Shannon Andrea | sandrea@vt.edu |  703-399-9494
Bill Foy | fwill55@vt.edu | 540-998-0288

Topics:

Science behind face masks shows their benefit, Virginia Tech expert says

Wondering what type of face mask works best to prevent the further spread of COVID-19? Virginia Tech expert Peter Jobst explains the science behind cloth and medical face masks for the best protection. (See expert bio)

Public health expert offers tips for summer travel and family vacations during COVID-19

“Traveling this summer presents challenges. The fundamental preventive measures, however, are not that different," said Virginia Tech's Lisa M. Lee. "Maintain at least 6 feet — more if exercising — away from others, wear a face covering in public spaces, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands often.” (See expert bio)

Contact tracing and technology can help prevent the spread of COVID-19

“Until we are able to develop and distribute an effective vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19, we have little choice but to use this old-fashioned, but highly effective public health practice to prevent the spread of this deadly disease,” says Virginia Tech public health expert Lisa M. Lee. (See expert bio)

In the news: 
- TIME: Here's How Scientists and Public-Health Experts Recommend the U.S. Gets Back to 'Normal' | The Verge: What is contact tracing? | Las Vegas Review-Journal: Stores face tough choices when workers test positive for coronavirus | The Verge: Personal privacy matters during a pandemic — but less than it might at other times

Proper handwashing technique is more important than ever, says Virginia Tech food safety expert

Experts stress that washing your hands thoroughly and often is the most crucial first step to preventing the spread of illness, especially for those in food service. (See expert bio)

Wuhan coronavirus links origin to wild animals, says wildlife epidemiology expert 

“It’s not surprising that the coronavirus first identified in Wuhan has linkages with animals, especially wildlife,” said wildlife epidemiology expert Luis Escobar. “China has important traditions related to the consumption of wildlife products, which elevates the risks for emerging diseases. While other countries and cities have high population densities and massive amounts of tourists, we do not see epidemics like the SARS or Wuhan coronaviruses that emerged in China.”  (See expert bio)

How do COVID-19 tests actually work? A Virginia Tech infectious disease expert explains

As areas across the country begin relaxing certain social distancing guidelines, many public health officials are considering ways to use various coronavirus tests to identify whether a person is infected or has been previously exposed to the virus that causes the disease known as COVID-19. (See expert bio)

Contact tracing and technology can help prevent the spread of COVID-19

“Until we are able to develop and distribute an effective vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19, we have little choice but to use this old-fashioned, but highly effective public health practice to prevent the spread of this deadly disease,” says Virginia Tech public health expert Lisa M. Lee. (See expert bio)

In the news: 
TIMEHere's How Scientists and Public-Health Experts Recommend the U.S. Gets Back to 'Normal' | The Verge: What is contact tracing? | Las Vegas Review-Journal: Stores face tough choices when workers test positive for coronavirus | The Verge: Personal privacy matters during a pandemic — but less than it might at other times

The challenges of a partial Phase One reopening in Virginia according to Virginia Tech expert

The Phase One reopening of Virginia – minus Northern Virginia – will require a cautionary approach by all, especially in Virginia’s urban crescent, according to Virginia Tech’s finance expert Derek Klock. (See expert bio)

New survey finds COVID-19 disrupts 90 percent of the aquaculture industry and spurs economic loss nationwide

“The crisis has come at one of the worst times of the year for seafood producers and could have long-term consequences for aquaculture and related industries,” says Virginia Tech expert Jonathan van Senten. (See expert bio)

Storefront signs tell it all, according to Virginia Tech’s Nneka Logan

“In these times, business is not just business – impersonal, formulaic,” said Logan.  “In these times, business is personal, and I think the signs reflect the personalities of the business owners and employees as well as reflects their unique perception of how the pandemic affects them and their customers.” (See expert bio)

For small businesses, coronavirus is like 'a typhoon that leaves nothing standing in its wake'

“What impacts small businesses is the same thing that impacts the broader economy – uncertainty,” explained Richard Hunt, assistant professor in the Pamplin College of Business. “The only thing worse than bad news is uncertainty. Right now, we are in a complete state of uncertainty.” (See expert bio)

 Virginia Tech economist available to discuss stimulus package and COVID-19 impacts to society

Virginia Tech expert John Bovay explains that these measures, while expensive and extreme, are necessary for the U.S. economy and society to experience a more rapid return to normalcy when the pandemic ends. (See expert bio)

Virginia economy well positioned to rebound, says expert

“Virginia is not only doing what it needs to in the near-term to weather the viral storm, but because of the demographics of its citizens and the structure of its economy Virginia should also be in a good position to weather the associated economic crisis," said Virginia Tech finance expert Derek Klock. (See expert bio)

$2 trillion government stimulus: Will it be enough? 

"If we get through this by late May or early June then government might not even need to spend that," says Virginia Tech financial expert Derek Klock. "If this goes on four to six months or we reopen too soon and have an ‘echo’ spread this fall, it won't be enough to do the same level of support again." (See expert bio)

In the news
FortuneWhy plunging Treasury yields are so alarming 

Travel & tourism economy will recover from COVID-19, but it will be forever changed

“Those in the industry who get through this will find ways to be more sustainable, use technology to become more efficient, and use data to forecast and prepare for other global phenomena and pivot their skill set to disaster recovery and resiliency," says  Virginia Tech expert Nancy McGehee. (See expert bio)

Virginia Tech economics experts detail Chinese and worldwide GDP loss from Hubei province as COVID-19 rattles nations, markets

A Virginia Tech modeling study based on conservative assumptions shows losses for two months of lockdown for the Chinese GDP and worldwide GDP total, respectively, total $80 billion and $140 billion as people in affected regions have stopped going to work or socializing, and as flights are canceled and cross-country travel is restricted. (See experts' bio

In the news
ReutersCoronavirus likely hammered U.S. economy in first quarter

Travel and tourism already feeling impacts of virus, according to Virginia Tech travel expert 

The U.S. travel industry is already feeling the impact of the spread of coronavirus, both by the large and lucrative Chinese market, and by tourists and travelers overall who are becoming more skittish regarding travel, according to Virginia Tech expert Nancy McGehee. (See expert bio)

In the news:
Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionUrged by airline industry, Americans kept flying as virus spread | Las Vegas Review-JournalTravel to US expected to fall 6% amid coronavirus outbreak 

Travel expert urges caution when planning summer vacation

Many travelers are concerned about the impact of the coronavirus, staying safe and protecting their vacation investment. Virginia Tech travel and tourism expert Nancy McGehee is available for media interviews discussing dos and don’ts when it comes to planning summer vacations. (See expert bio)

Spread of coronavirus to impact the global economic supply chain, says expert

With China being a major supplier of goods to countries around the world, there will likely be short-term, but intense, disruptions to the global supply chain, says Virginia Tech expert Barbara Hoopes. (See expert bio)

Coronavirus disrupts global supply chain and production of U.S. consumer goods, says expert

“Smart watches, phones, video game consoles, computers, and embedded electronic components in larger goods may see the earliest impact," says Virginia Tech expert Barbara Hoopes. "These physically smaller, but higher-value goods are often handled on a just-in-time inventory basis due to shorter transit times. These are the components that will likely be missed first in both retail and production assembly operations in the U.S.” (See expert bio)

In the news
BloombergAmazon Drivers Received Single Wipe to Clean Vans Before Shifts | Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Delta, UPS, other Georgia company stock prices slammed by coronavirus | Associated PressBusinesses struggle to fix supply chains disrupted by virus

Perspectives on jittery financial markets

As the spread of the coronavirus continues to grab headlines, the uncertainty of financial markets leaves investors looking for answers. Virginia Tech’s Derek Klock encourages people not to make rash decisions in the middle of a panicky market. (See expert bio)

U.S. pause on World Health Organization funding could have ripple effects on global health systems and economies, says expert

“What COVID-19 is bringing to light, perhaps in an unprecedented way, is how globalized our systems are,” said Stephanie Smith, an expert on global health policy at Virginia Tech. “Not just our economies and supply chains, but also our health systems – which play an important role in undergirding economic growth and development, especially in lower-income countries. (See expert bio)

Spread of coronavirus to impact the global economic supply chain, says expert

With China being a major supplier of goods to countries around the world, there will likely be short-term, but intense, disruptions to the global supply chain, says Virginia Tech expert Barbara Hoopes. (See expert bio)

Coronavirus disrupts global supply chain and production of U.S. consumer goods, says expert

“Smart watches, phones, video game consoles, computers, and embedded electronic components in larger goods may see the earliest impact," says Virginia Tech expert Barbara Hoopes. "These physically smaller, but higher-value goods are often handled on a just-in-time inventory basis due to shorter transit times. These are the components that will likely be missed first in both retail and production assembly operations in the U.S.” (See expert bio)

Virginia Tech child psychology expert offers advice for parents discussing job layoff with young children, teens

Parents who have been laid off during the pandemic should approach talking to their children about job loss when parent and child are both feeling emotionally calm, cool and collected, according to Tom Ollendick, an expert in child psychology and director of the Virginia Tech Child Study Center.  (See expert bio)

‘We all have to think of the big picture,’ says behavioral science expert

“We've been raised to make things happen ourselves, and now we have to work together not just for our own interests, but for the welfare of others.," said E. Scott Geller, a Virginia Tech expert in applied behavioral science. "We all have to think of the big picture." (See expert bio)

In the news:
HealthDayWhy Are Teens, Millennials Ignoring Coronavirus Warnings? | ElementalHow to Manage Your Fear During the Coronavirus | HealthDayCoronavirus Doesn't Have to Scare You or Your Kids, Psychologists Say

Science behind face masks shows their benefit, Virginia Tech expert says

Wondering what type of face mask works best to prevent the further spread of COVID-19? Virginia Tech expert Peter Jobst explains the science behind cloth and medical face masks for the best protection. (See expert bio)

Healthcare safety expert: culture of PPE use and actively caring is critical

“Really what we’re talking about is: How do you help people stay safe and not take unnecessary risks?” said E. Scott Geller, a Virginia Tech expert in applied behavioral science and the human dynamics of injury prevention. (See expert bio)

Minimizing your risk of exposure to the coronavirus is key, expert says

Because the 2019 novel coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, Virginia Tech epidemiologist Charlotte Baker says everyone needs to be especially careful about minimizing the risk of exposure to yourself and others. (See expert bio)

In the news:
- NewsweekWhat Is Phase One of Trump's U.S. Coronavirus Reopening Plan? | The Boston HeraldCoronavirus sticking to shoes in hospitals, study says. What about grocery stores?

Proper handwashing technique is more important than ever, says Virginia Tech food safety expert

Experts stress that washing your hands thoroughly and often is the most crucial first step to preventing the spread of illness, especially for those in food service. (See expert bio)

Peer support group for physicians helps ease distress during COVID-19 pandemic

“We all need someone – a confidante with the same experiences, faced with having to overcome the same challenges in practicing medicine," said Dr. Mark H. Greenawald, a professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and a family and community medicine physician for Carilion Clinic. "The way the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved has presented just those kinds of challenges.” (See expert bio)

Healthcare systems remain vulnerable to cybersecurity threats during COVID-19

“The issue of cybersecurity in health care is not limited to the management of patient records but is rather an ecosystem-wide challenge that plagues health systems at nearly every level," said Virginia Tech cybersecurity expert Aaron Brantly. (See expert bio)

Don’t just prepare for another pandemic; focus on chronic conditions that make diseases like COVID-19 more deadly, says expert

“While it’s completely understandable that containing COVID-19 is the focus right now, attention and resources for these chronic conditions have really languished historically,” said Stephanie Smith, a global health policy expert at Virginia Tech. (See expert bio

Telemedicine is changing the way healthcare will be done in the future

 “It is not a panacea and must be used like any other tool for patient care," says Dr. Stephen Morgan, senior vice president and chief medical information officer at the Carilion Clinic and a faculty member at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. "Not all care can be managed virtually however we are finding more options that are both convenient for the patient and provide equal quality to a face-to-face visit.” (See expert bio)

Mental health expert available to discuss tips for easing COVID-19 anxiety 

“It is a normal, healthy response to be anxious when confronted with a pandemic such as COVID-19. Our challenge is to remember that there is a lot under our control to reduce risks for ourselves, our families, and our communities,” said Dr. Robert Trestman, head of psychiatry at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. (See expert bio)

Tips for healthy eating at home during COVID-19

“It’s already a stressful time for everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we don’t want to add any extra stress in feeding and preparing meals at home,” Austin Brooks said. “It’s important to focus on shelf-stable, mix-and-match type recipes that can keep you well-fed." (See expert bio)

Nutrition expert offers tips for staying active and eating healthy during COVID-19 pandemic

“Eating well and being active is critical during this time of anxiety and uncertainty – both to maintain emotional and physical wellness but to maximize your immune system,” said Elena Serrano. (See expert bio)

New survey finds COVID-19 disrupts 90 percent of the aquaculture industry and spurs economic loss nationwide

“The crisis has come at one of the worst times of the year for seafood producers and could have long-term consequences for aquaculture and related industries,” says Virginia Tech expert Jonathan van Senten. (See expert bio)

Virginia Cooperative Extension experts offer tips for preserving food during COVID-19

Preserving foods enables you to create delicious, flavorful, and nutritious food at home that can be enjoyed year-round. More importantly proper food preservation allows for fewer trips to the grocery store, therefore saving time, reducing food waste, and less time spent in public places during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Joell Eifert and Melissa Chase, food safety experts with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

COVID-19 could alter agricultural trade relationships; change view of globalization and interdependency for food

While progress was being made on the U.S.-China Phase One agricultural deal with changes to regulations on non-tariff barriers, COVID-19 has raised questions about diversifying suppliers for world-wide trade. (See experts' bio)

Expert offers tips for safely buying take-out food and packages during COVID-19

Reliance on take-out and food delivery is increasing because of the COVID-19 pandemic and, while experts say the food supply appears to be safe, there are ways to emphasize food safety from these sources. (See expert bio)

Expert: Social distancing works — just ask these animals

"Animals as diverse as monkeys, lobsters, insects and birds can detect and avoid sick members of their species," Dana Hawley, a professor of biological sciences, co-wrote in a recent column. "Why have so many types of animals evolved such sophisticated behaviors in response to disease? Because social distancing helps them survive." (See expert bio)

Wuhan coronavirus links origin to wild animals, says wildlife epidemiology expert 

“It’s not surprising that the coronavirus first identified in Wuhan has linkages with animals, especially wildlife,” said wildlife epidemiology expert Luis Escobar. “China has important traditions related to the consumption of wildlife products, which elevates the risks for emerging diseases. While other countries and cities have high population densities and massive amounts of tourists, we do not see epidemics like the SARS or Wuhan coronaviruses that emerged in China.”  (See expert bio)

Virginia Tech history class connects 1918 flu outbreak to COVID-19 pandemic 

When Professor of History Thomas Ewing, an expert on the history of epidemics, selected the research project last fall, he didn’t anticipate the themes of the course would dominate daily life in the spring. (See expert bio)

Mandatory social distancing likely America’s required defense against COVID-19, expert says 

“As the nation stares down a new emergency of global proportions, World War II can serve as a model of how we might address this new challenge,” Virginia Tech historian Ed Gitre wrote. “Leaders then did not rely on good will alone. The challenge was too great and onerous, and human nature, left to its own devices, too fickle.” (See expert bio)

The changing face of health crisis leadership from Washington

Leadership from the federal government and the White House during times of a national health crisis is very different now than 100 years ago. Virginia Tech professor of history Thomas Ewing studies the history of influenza epidemics, and says crisis management from Washington was almost non-existent a century ago. (See expert bio)

Expert who studies history of epidemics: ‘Panic may be the worst possible response’

A professor who studies the history of international epidemics says the United States “should look to history for guidance on how to interpret news reports” about the spread of SARS-CoV-2, previously known as the 2019 novel coronavirus. (See expert bio)

Political conventions, challenges and worries in the age of COVID-19

“This year, given President Trump’s current insistence on having a traditional convention — complete with large, roaring crowds — the Republicans also confront clear logistical challenges, likely resistance from some groups in the ultimate host community, and criticism from numerous quarters in the U.S. and around the world,” said Virginia Tech political scientist Karen Hult. (See expert bio)

Like everything else, primaries and conventions face uncertain future

“I think we need to balance the consequences of lower turnout from forging ahead with scheduled elections amid the pandemic, with the risks of postponing elections, which is a very dangerous precedent,”  said Virginia Tech political primary expert Caitlin Jewitt. (See expert bio)

'Evidence-based national direction’ still largely lacking in federal coronavirus response, government policy expert says

What’s the right approach? Probably somewhere in between, according to Virginia Tech political scientist Karen Hult. (View expert bio)

$2 trillion government stimulus: Will it be enough? 

"If we get through this by late May or early June then government might not even need to spend that," says Virginia Tech financial expert Derek Klock. "If this goes on four to six months or we reopen too soon and have an ‘echo’ spread this fall, it won't be enough to do the same level of support again." (See expert bio)

Telework in the time of COVID-19: clear policy helps employees

A clear and meaningful policy on telework makes a positive difference to employees who now have to work from home, as does trust in the organization, early results from a new research project show. (See expert bio)

Nutrition expert offers tips for staying active and eating healthy during COVID-19 pandemic

“Eating well and being active is critical during this time of anxiety and uncertainty – both to maintain emotional and physical wellness but to maximize your immune system,” said Elena Serrano. (See expert bio)

Tips for healthy eating at home during COVID-19

“It’s already a stressful time for everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we don’t want to add any extra stress in feeding and preparing meals at home,” Austin Brooks said. “It’s important to focus on shelf-stable, mix-and-match type recipes that can keep you well-fed." (See expert bio)

Tips for couples to improve relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic

Many couples are struggling to balance connection and alone time while sharing physical space at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Family studies expert Mariana Falconier — who leads Together, a free program for couples offered by Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland, College Park — shares some ideas on how to adapt to being at home together and improve your relationship during this time. (See expert bio)

Peer support group for physicians helps ease distress during COVID-19 pandemic

“We all need someone – a confidante with the same experiences, faced with having to overcome the same challenges in practicing medicine," said Dr. Mark H. Greenawald, a professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and a family and community medicine physician for Carilion Clinic. "The way the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved has presented just those kinds of challenges.” (See expert bio)

Virginia Tech expert discusses how telework poses new challenges for work-at-home employees

“One of the biggest difficulties that we have is that we’re being put into a situation where we’re not necessarily working to our strengths and our preferences," said Virginia Tech's Charles Calderwood. "We’re in a situation where maybe we don’t want to work at home, we can’t reasonably accomplish certain work tasks at home, or we don’t like to work at home. One thing that can be really helpful is try to carve out the control that you can have over your work life." (See expert bio)

Virginia Tech child psychology expert offers advice for parents discussing job layoff with young children, teens

Parents who have been laid off during the pandemic should approach talking to their children about job loss when parent and child are both feeling emotionally calm, cool and collected, according to Tom Ollendick, an expert in child psychology and director of the Virginia Tech Child Study Center.  (See expert bio)

Virginia Cooperative Extension experts offer tips for preserving food during COVID-19

Preserving foods enables you to create delicious, flavorful, and nutritious food at home that can be enjoyed year-round. More importantly proper food preservation allows for fewer trips to the grocery store, therefore saving time, reducing food waste, and less time spent in public places during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Joell Eifert and Melissa Chase, food safety experts with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Designers offer tips for constructing remote workstations to optimize productivity, health and well-being

Virginia Tech interior and industrial design experts offer tips for constructing an ideal at-home workstation. (See experts' bio)

‘We all have to think of the big picture,’ says behavioral science expert

“We've been raised to make things happen ourselves, and now we have to work together not just for our own interests, but for the welfare of others.," said E. Scott Geller, a Virginia Tech expert in applied behavioral science. "We all have to think of the big picture." (See expert bio)

In the news:
— HealthDayWhy Are Teens, Millennials Ignoring Coronavirus Warnings? ElementalHow to Manage Your Fear During the Coronavirus HealthDayCoronavirus Doesn't Have to Scare You or Your Kids, Psychologists Say

Expert provides tips on children’s well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic

“As adults navigate this new environment amid COVID-19, children, even as young as infants and toddlers, are observing and taking cues from our behaviors, words and emotions. Child trends have encouraged the use of the three Rs for children at this time: reassurance, routines and regulation,” says says Crystal Tyler-Mackey, a Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist. (See expert bio)

Nutrition expert gives tips on staying active and eating healthy during COVID-19 pandemic

“Eating well and being active is critical during this time of anxiety and uncertainty – both to maintain emotional and physical wellness but to maximize your immune system,” says Elena Serrano, a Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist. (See expert bio)

6 tips for older adults to avoid scams brought on by COVID-19

“Billions of dollars are lost each year because of fraudulent telemarketers. You are not being rude by hanging up when a solicitor calls," says Virginia Tech professor Karen Roberto. (See expert bio)

Expert in aging offers tips for interacting with older family and friends during COVID-19 spread

Families also need to be putting in place alternative plans should their usual caregiving services become unavailable or reduced in response to the need for social distancing, says Virginia Tech's Karen Roberto. (See expert bio)

Mental health expert available to discuss tips for easing COVID-19 anxiety 

“It is a normal, healthy response to be anxious when confronted with a pandemic such as COVID-19. Our challenge is to remember that there is a lot under our control to reduce risks for ourselves, our families, and our communities,” said Dr. Robert Trestman, head of psychiatry at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. (See expert bio)

Coping with family stress and social isolation: Virginia Tech expert says one size doesn’t fit all 

“Often the families that might be feeling the most stressed are the families where parents may have less flexibility in their jobs,” said Smith. “With the added stress of caring for children who are not currently in school, everyone is facing a different set of circumstances, says Cindy Smith, an associate professor and the director of graduate studies for the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Virginia Tech, and head of the Children's Emotions Lab. (See expert bio)

Alternative modes of transportation can help with social distancing, good health and wellness, says expert

“While staying at home and following government recommendations for social distancing is the first order of priorities, if you have to take a trip and do not want to ride public transport, or if public transport has reduced service, the bicycle can be a good alternative,” says Ralph Buehler. (See expert bio)

Proper handwashing technique is more important than ever, says Virginia Tech food safety expert

Experts stress that washing your hands thoroughly and often is the most crucial first step to preventing the spread of illness, especially for those in food service. (See expert bio)

Telework in the time of COVID-19: clear policy helps employees

A clear and meaningful policy on telework makes a positive difference to employees who now have to work from home, as does trust in the organization, early results from a new research project show. (See expert bio)

Drone deliveries benefit small businesses, consumers during pandemic

Wing, a drone delivery enterprise and offshoot of Google's parent company Alphabet, has seen a dramatic increase in its business since the pandemic began. In October 2019, Wing launched the commercial drone delivery service in Christiansburg with the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), a test site for unmanned aircraft systems designated by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Healthcare systems remain vulnerable to cybersecurity threats during COVID-19

“The issue of cybersecurity in health care is not limited to the management of patient records but is rather an ecosystem-wide challenge that plagues health systems at nearly every level," said Virginia Tech cybersecurity expert Aaron Brantly. (See expert bio)

Contact tracing and technology can help prevent the spread of COVID-19

“Until we are able to develop and distribute an effective vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19, we have little choice but to use this old-fashioned, but highly effective public health practice to prevent the spread of this deadly disease,” says Virginia Tech public health expert Lisa M. Lee. (See expert bio)

In the news
TIMEHere's How Scientists and Public-Health Experts Recommend the U.S. Gets Back to 'Normal' | The Verge: What is contact tracing? | Las Vegas Review-Journal: Stores face tough choices when workers test positive for coronavirus | The Verge: Personal privacy matters during a pandemic — but less than it might at other times

Telemedicine is changing the way healthcare will be done in the future

 “It is not a panacea and must be used like any other tool for patient care," says Dr. Stephen Morgan, senior vice president and chief medical information officer at the Carilion Clinic and a faculty member at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. "Not all care can be managed virtually however we are finding more options that are both convenient for the patient and provide equal quality to a face-to-face visit.” (See expert bio)

Global pandemic serving as catalyst for technology to change how society functions in the future

“If COVID-19 happened five or ten years ago, people would not have been able to work remotely like so many are doing today," said Virginia Tech computer scientist and cloud computing expert Ali R. Butt. "It would have been an almost complete shutdown or forced businesses and people to take risks to keep things going." (See expert bio)

Tips for fact checking information sharing about COVID-19 on social media

Virginia Tech’s health communications expert Adrienne Ivory offers the following tips for fact checking online information related to COVID-19. (See expert bio)

Coronavirus heightens risk of cybercrime in the workplace, expert warns to protect private data

“We are living in a heightened time of cyber risk. Cyber criminals will take advantage of public fear and due diligence health measures to generate coronavirus themed phishing attacks. We should be aware of unsolicited COVID-19 emails with specious links or attachments,” says Virginia Tech expert David Simpson. (See expert bio)

Bicycling trends show more riders on trails and roadways during COVID-19

"After weeks of staying at home and practicing social distancing guidelines, more and more people are using bicycles for their mode of transportation and physical activity,” says Virginia Tech transportation expert Ralph Buehler. “Not only is bicycling an effective mode of transportation, but it also helps improve physical and mental health.” (See expert bio)

Expert offers tips for family staycation at home this summer

Many favorite summer activities, like camps and vacations, have already been postponed until next year. Families may need to look closer to home for a refreshing change of pace after long periods of doing jobs and schoolwork at home, says Virginia Tech expert Rosemary Blieszner. (See expert bio)

Falling CO2 levels and the impact of the coronavirus lockdown

Carbon dioxide emissions are falling dramatically as a result of stay-at-home orders in countries around the world – but the long-term impacts on the concentrations of CO2 that have accumulated in the atmosphere over decades could be limited, says Virginia Tech geologist Brian Romans. (See expert bio)

Perspectives on life without sports from Virginia Tech’s Bill Roth

"It’s the correct decision when it comes to public safety, but unprecedented in our time to be completely halted like this,” said Virginia Tech sports media and analytics professor Bill Roth. “We don’t know yet how it might impact our pro and college sports leagues, but it could start a surge of e-sports or virtual sports leagues which are growing.” (See expert bio)

Travel & tourism economy will recover from COVID-19, but it will be forever changed

“Those in the industry who get through this will find ways to be more sustainable, use technology to become more efficient, and use data to forecast and prepare for other global phenomena and pivot their skill set to disaster recovery and resiliency," says  Virginia Tech expert Nancy McGehee. (See expert bio)

Travel and tourism already feeling impacts of virus, according to Virginia Tech travel expert 

The U.S. travel industry is already feeling the impact of the spread of coronavirus, both by the large and lucrative Chinese market, and by tourists and travelers overall who are becoming more skittish regarding travel, according to Virginia Tech expert Nancy McGehee. (See expert bio)

Travel expert urges caution when planning summer vacation

Many travelers are concerned about the impact of the coronavirus, staying safe and protecting their vacation investment. Virginia Tech travel and tourism expert Nancy McGehee is available for media interviews discussing dos and don’ts when it comes to planning summer vacations. (See expert bio)

Healthcare systems remain vulnerable to cybersecurity threats during COVID-19

“The issue of cybersecurity in health care is not limited to the management of patient records but is rather an ecosystem-wide challenge that plagues health systems at nearly every level," said Virginia Tech cybersecurity expert Aaron Brantly. (See expert bio)

6 tips for older adults to avoid scams brought on by COVID-19

“Billions of dollars are lost each year because of fraudulent telemarketers. You are not being rude by hanging up when a solicitor calls," says Virginia Tech professor Karen Roberto. (See expert bio)

Tips for fact checking information sharing about COVID-19 on social media

Virginia Tech’s health communications expert Adrienne Ivory offers the following tips for fact checking online information related to COVID-19. (See expert bio)

Coronavirus heightens risk of cybercrime in the workplace, expert warns to protect private data

“We are living in a heightened time of cyber risk. Cyber criminals will take advantage of public fear and due diligence health measures to generate coronavirus themed phishing attacks. We should be aware of unsolicited COVID-19 emails with specious links or attachments,” says Virginia Tech expert David Simpson. (See expert bio)

Falling CO2 levels and the impact of the coronavirus lockdown

Carbon dioxide emissions are falling dramatically as a result of stay-at-home orders in countries around the world – but the long-term impacts on the concentrations of CO2 that have accumulated in the atmosphere over decades could be limited, says Virginia Tech geologist Brian Romans. (See expert bio)

Alternative modes of transportation can help with social distancing, good health and wellness, says expert

“While staying at home and following government recommendations for social distancing is the first order of priorities, if you have to take a trip and do not want to ride public transport, or if public transport has reduced service, the bicycle can be a good alternative,” says Ralph Buehler. (See expert bio)

Tips for fact checking information sharing about COVID-19 on social media

Virginia Tech’s health communications expert Adrienne Ivory offers the following tips for fact checking online information related to COVID-19. (See expert bio)

Rapidly changing pandemic requires extra care in employee communication

“Because this situation is so fluid, you need to be sure that the information you communicate is accurate, said Virginia Tech’s Nneka Logan. “What was true yesterday may not be true today.” (See expert bio)

Telework in the time of COVID-19: clear policy helps employees

A clear and meaningful policy on telework makes a positive difference to employees who now have to work from home, as does trust in the organization, early results from a new research project show. (See expert bio)

Virginia Tech expert discusses how telework poses new challenges for work-at-home employees

“One of the biggest difficulties that we have is that we’re being put into a situation where we’re not necessarily working to our strengths and our preferences," said Virginia Tech's Charles Calderwood. "We’re in a situation where maybe we don’t want to work at home, we can’t reasonably accomplish certain work tasks at home, or we don’t like to work at home. One thing that can be really helpful is try to carve out the control that you can have over your work life." (See expert bio)

Coronavirus heightens risk of cybercrime in the workplace, expert warns to protect private data

“We are living in a heightened time of cyber risk. Cyber criminals will take advantage of public fear and due diligence health measures to generate coronavirus themed phishing attacks. We should be aware of unsolicited COVID-19 emails with specious links or attachments,” says Virginia Tech expert David Simpson. (See expert bio)

Rapidly changing pandemic requires extra care in employee communication

“Because this situation is so fluid, you need to be sure that the information you communicate is accurate, said Virginia Tech’s Nneka Logan. “What was true yesterday may not be true today.” (See expert bio)

Researchers establish a reverse genetics system to facilitate COVID-19 research

“The reverse genetics system is the basis for all future studies, including vaccine studies. It will allow us to manipulate the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome so that we can discover weaknesses in the virus to exploit,” said Weger-Lucarelli, a research assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. (See expert bio)

Spurred by COVID-19, researcher Linsey Marr evaluates efficacy of sterilized N95 respirators, alternative mask materials

Virginia Tech professor Linsey Marr, an expert in the airborne transmission of infectious disease, has been testing the efficacy of sterilized N95 respirators and alternative mask materials in filtering out particles. The rapid science experiments conducted by her team aim to help quantify how well these forms of personal protective equipment and homemade face coverings shield their wearers against COVID-19, especially in the face of shortages. (Email media contact)

In the news
PolitiFactClaim that N95 masks can’t stop COVID-19 particles due to size is nonsense | New York TimesThe Scientist, the Air and the Virus | The Wall Street JournalThe New Rules of Social Distancing: Health Experts Answer Your Questions | NPRHow Runners Can Keep Themselves And Others Safe During The Pandemic | The Washington PostCrowded protests spark concerns about fresh outbreaks of the deadly coronavirus | WIREDHow Does a Virus Spread in Cities? It’s a Problem of Scale

Virginia Tech institute leads design of open-source repository for COVID-19 drug-delivery simulation data

“The nature of this pandemic requires rapid and flexible response. This repository, and the data within, are designed to get the information out quickly," said T. Daniel Crawford, lead director of the institute and a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science. (Email media contact)

Expert videos:

Renee Boyer, a food safety expert with the Department of Food Science & Technology at Virginia Tech, says handwashing is the most effective first measure people can take to stay safe, as long as they do it correctly. (See media tip sheet)

Because the 2019 novel coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, Virginia Tech epidemiologist Charlotte Baker says everyone needs to be especially careful about minimizing the risk of exposure to yourself and others. (See media tip sheet)

Professor Laura Hungerford, head of the Department of Population Health Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, explains what "flattening the curve" means and how it can help the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Dr. Hungerford also highlights six practices that everyone can adopt to become a "flatten-the-curve hero."

Leadership from the federal government and the White House during times of a national health crisis is very different now than 100 years ago. Professor Tom Ewing studies the history of influenza epidemics and says crisis management from Washington was almost non-existent a century ago. (See media tip sheet)

A Virginia Tech modeling study based on conservative assumptions shows losses for two months of lockdown for the Chinese GDP and worldwide GDP total, respectively, total $80 billion and $140 billion as people in affected regions have stopped going to work or socializing, and as flights are canceled and cross-country travel is restricted. (See media tip sheet)

With China being a major supplier of goods to countries around the world, there will likely be short-term, but intense, disruptions to the global supply chain, says Virginia Tech expert Barbara Hoopes. (See media tip sheet)

“There’s little unique about the U.S. except for the fact we’re not testing as much as we should be," said Ron Fricker, an expert in biosurveillance. (See expert bio)

In the news
The VergeThe best graphs and data for tracking the coronavirus pandemic | Sinclair Broadcast Group: 'No metro area will be spared': Officials warn more cities will face outbreaks The Boston GlobeCoronavirus deaths in Mass. are likely far higher than what’s been reported. Here’s why NewsweekDespite Mounting Criticism over America's Coronavirus Response, Here's What the U.S. Is Getting Right

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Finding reliable experts for media interviews is especially important during this difficult time. Virginia Tech's television and radio studios can broadcast live HD audio and video to networks, news outlets, and affiliates interviewing Virginia Tech faculty and staff. The university does not charge for use of its studios. Video is transmitted by LTN Global Communications; Skype, FaceTime, or similar products; or file sharing (Dropbox, Google Drive, We-Transfer, etc.). Radio interviews can be transmitted by ISDN, Comrex, phone, smartphone recording, or file sharing.