Campus operations geared up for spring semester
January 13, 2021
University operations for the spring 2021 semester continue to move forward in support of Virginia Tech’s academic, research, and engagement pursuits.
Prioritizing public health measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, operations will be guided by the principles and procedures outlined in Virginia Tech’s operational plan. Among the plan’s key components are the spring 2021 semester academic schedule, COVID-19 testing strategy, vaccination preparations, and COVID-19 case management.
The Virginia Tech spring 2021 semester will begin and end as originally scheduled. To allow for orderly surveillance of COVID-19 prevalence and targeted mitigation of health safety risks, there will be a gradual move-in process for residential students. The traditional spring break will be cancelled and replaced with five one-day breaks designed to offer downtime and stress relief.
The spring 2021 COVID-19 testing strategy includes voluntary testing, mandatory testing, and adaptive approaches. Virginia Tech has increased both testing and laboratory capacity for the spring semester and is currently investigating several alternative sampling methods. The university will continue to offer mandatory prevalence testing for students and high-contact employees, and voluntary testing for employees and students. The testing strategy will evolve based on the latest guidance from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Visit the Virginia Tech Ready site testing page and follow VT News for the latest updates around testing clinics.
VDH continues to lead COVID-19 vaccination distribution efforts across the commonwealth. Virginia Tech remains in close collaboration and communication with VDH. University community vaccine updates will be shared on the VT Ready site and via VT News.
Virginia Tech continues to strengthen its COVID-19 case management efforts to assist students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 or receive notification of being in close contact with an individual who has tested positive. Enhanced support includes additional case managers, expanded resources for students in isolation and quarantine on campus, and streamlined case management technology.
Successful operations rely on university members’ adoption of the principles and public health tenets included in the Community Wellness Commitment. These measures include wearing a face covering in all public spaces, maintaining physical distancing, and staying home when feeling unwell, among others. All university members should complete the Hokie Health ✔️ assessment within the Hokie Ready App before heading to a campus location and access the app often for COVID-19 and safety resources.
Please refer to the VT Ready site and VT News for the latest information related to university operations. Read on for specific details around university services and units for the spring semester.
Virginia Tech will continue to provide students with as many in-person experiences as possible, in a manner that effectively mitigates the health safety risk posed by COVID-19. Spring semester classes will begin on Jan. 19, and all instruction will be delivered fully online through Jan. 22. This will allow for a gradual move-in process for residential students and allow orderly surveillance of COVID-19 prevalence and targeted mitigation of health safety risks.
The highest levels of cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing in instructional spaces will continue. Public health measures like wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing and physical distance among classroom furniture will also continue. Planned enhancements to academic advising and support services will further help students successfully navigate the spring semester.
As the semester progresses and the COVID-19 environment evolves, university leadership will evaluate and strive to adapt course modalities to maximize opportunities for in-person instruction.
Faculty: Guidance and Reminders for Spring 2021 Instruction
Access to educational and general use buildings on the Blacksburg campus continues. Access to specific classrooms, office suites, and other areas may vary based on departmental needs. Please speak with your department head or supervisor for access concerns or questions so they may be shared with Hokie Passport for electronic building access or the Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities. The division will continue to prioritize cleaning and disinfection of high-touch spaces.
Greater Washington, D.C., metro area
Access to buildings in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area will continue. Alexandria and Arlington building access will see no change. The Northern Virginia Center will remain open to accommodate student access to the library. Please refer to the University Libraries hours page for the latest schedule.
Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC remains operational. Consistent with fall semester operations, daily check-in procedures remain in place.
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine students will continue to have classes, and facilities will be operational.
Virginia Tech will continue to offer mandatory prevalence testing and voluntary testing for students, as well as prevalence and voluntary COVID-19 testing for employees. Please visit the Virginia Tech Ready site testing page and follow VT News for the latest updates around testing clinics.
Virginia Tech recognizes the large number of students taking advantage of these convenient outdoor spaces for studying, dining, and socializing and the university is planning to install them again in early spring 2021.
All undergraduate for-credit research and instruction is by virtual participation only. Paid undergraduate students continue to work in research labs with appropriate approvals and protocols in place (i.e., PPE use, distancing rules, lab hygiene, Institutional Research Board approvals, etc.). Undergraduate student research questions may be directed to Keri Swaby at email@example.com. All graduate for-credit instruction with the exception of research through project/thesis/dissertation credits is by virtual participation only. Students participating in project/thesis/dissertation work and paid graduate student workers can continue to conduct research in labs with appropriate approvals and protocols in place.
Graduate student research questions may be directed to Dean Karen DePauw at firstname.lastname@example.org. All volunteer work should be treated the same as for-credit work. Any exceptions should be approved by the appropriate college dean or institute director or her/his designee.
Parking enforcement on the Blacksburg campus will continue Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The following parking options are available:
- Purchase a parking permit.
- New: Purchase on-demand parking using a credit card or mobile payment with ParkMobile app.
- Daily parking is still available for purchase (via ParkMobile, online, or in-person at Parking Services at 505 Beamer Way, Blacksburg, VA 24061).
Please visit the BT website for the latest schedules and updates.
Please visit the Alternative Transportation website for the latest updates and operating schedule for Hokie Bike Hub.
The Fleet Services office will continue to be open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Any operational changes will be shared on the Fleet Services website.
For the spring semester, Virginia Tech will continue to operate a university helpline and corresponding call center to help all members of the university community — student, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and visitors — get information and answers on matters related to the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virginia Tech’s COVID-19 helpline is 540-231-7600. Click here for helpline hours and additional details.
Please visit departmental websites for more information if the operational update you are seeking is not included above.