Editor's note: Leadership Answers is an occasional series that features answers from university leaders on issues related to Virginia Tech's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this first installment, Mike Mulhare, assistant vice president for emergency management, responds to a question regarding data.

Q: I am concerned about the rising case numbers nationally and locally.  What numbers are we tracking to inform decisions about opening?

A: In addition to the Virginia Tech dashboard that displays numbers from Schiffert Health Center testing, we are closely monitoring the Virginia Department of Health dashboard for the commonwealth and individual health districts. Metrics evaluated include the positivity rate, the total number of cases, and the number of tests performed. Available hospital capacity (number of beds, ICU space, and number of ventilators) is also monitored. The Harvard Global Health Institute’s model is used to monitor national and international information. Decisions regarding in-person instruction and activities are based on public health data and the adherence of Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff to campus health and safety protocols.

For the latest information related to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Virginia Tech's Ready website.