Spring 2022 FAQs
Per President Tim Sands, booster shots, tests, and masks required for the start of the spring 2022 semester. Further FAQ's and student information will be added to this page as it becomes available.
COVID-19 will be among us for the foreseeable future, and per the university, booster shots, tests, and masks are required for the start of the spring 2022 semester.
As vaccines, therapeutics, and mitigation practices have become readily available and known, personal responsibility and education become the most effective strategy for reducing the impact of COVID-19.
What types of COVID-19 tests are acceptable to meet the testing requirement?
- PCR tests, rapid antigen tests and at-home tests are all acceptable.
Why is a COVID-19 Antigen test recommended to determine active and contagious illness versus latent?
- COVID-19 PCR test specimens can yield a replication-competent virus (shedding) for up to 90-120 days. This is usually picking up the DNA of a dead virus if the patient is asymptomatic. Antigen tests are a rapid test that performs best in symptomatic patients and within a certain number of days since symptoms onsets and actively shed the virus (contagious).
What should I do if I cannot get a test where I live?
- If you are unable to secure a COVID-19 test at home, you can be tested at Virginia Tech; however, results may take 24-48 hours to process due to the limited number of rapid tests available on campus, and you will not be allowed to move into your residence hall until you receive your results. Additionally, if you test positive upon your arrival to campus, you will be required to return home for 5 days to isolate. For these reasons, we strongly recommend that you acquire a COVID-19 test before your arrival at Virginia Tech.
I’m a new student, how should I report my COVID-19 test if I don't have my Hokie Passport yet?
- When uploading the photo, please include your driver's license and your student ID number written on a piece of paper along with the test result.
I am an on-campus resident moving in, where do I submit my negative COVID test results?
- On-campus residents will need to submit their negative COVID test through the StarRez Portal. The test must be no more than 72 hours prior to your move-in date. Again, PCR tests, rapid antigen tests and at-home tests are all acceptable.
What if I have tested positive for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus? Does that release me from the testing requirement?
- If you have tested positive within 14 days of your move-in date, you can provide that positive test result to release you from the negative test obligation. Please note that you need to wait 5 days after receiving a positive COVID-19 test result before returning to campus. If you have questions about your specific situation, you can contact Schiffert Health Center at 540-231-6444.
What kind of test should I get if I've had COVID-19 recently, but longer than 14 days ago?
- COVID-19 Antigen rapid tests are recommended to determine active and contagious illness versus latent. COVID-19 PCR test specimens can yield a replication-competent virus (shedding) for up to 90-120 days. This is usually picking up the DNA of a dead virus if the patient is asymptomatic. Antigen tests are a rapid test that performs best in symptomatic patients and within a certain number of days since symptoms onsets and actively shed the virus (contagious).
In response to these changes, can I cancel my housing contract?
- Unfortunately, we cannot release students from their housing contracts at this time. COVID-19 remains unpredictable, and we are doing the best we can to adapt to the evolving guidelines and maximize the learning potential for our students. Any student wishing to cancel their housing contract must pursue a contract release process which requires extenuating circumstances including but not limited to, changes in medical, personal, or family status, unforeseen financial distress, and/or marriage (learn more here).
Where can I park for move in?
- Virginia Tech parking lots will be designated as 30-minute load/unload zones for Spring 2022 move in Thursday, January 13 through Monday, January 17. On Friday, January 14 the Squires lot and Architecture Annex lots are reserved for Spring Orientation and unavailable to students moving in.
After I come to campus, where should I get a COVID-19 test if I have been exposed or told I am a close contact?
- Students should call Schiffert Health Center at 540-231-6444 to schedule an appointment for testing. If you are not experiencing any symptoms, testing options are also available on the Blacksburg campus and can be scheduled within VT Notify.
I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do next? What about my classes?
- If you have tested positive somewhere besides Schiffert please upload your results to the Online Student Health Portal, and follow your health care provider's instructions or call Schiffert if you need health guidance or have further questions. Do not attend class or work. Utilize your previously developed plan, whether you live on-campus or off-campus, to isolate at home or in place for five days and wear a face covering. After five days, and if you no longer have symptoms, you may conclude your isolation. Please continue to wear your mask in accordance with university guidelines.
- You should also notify the Dean of Students Office immediately so they can provide you with support, including an absence verification, and monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus.
How can I access dining if I test positive for COVID-19? Can I eat in a dining hall during my isolation period?
- If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please continue with your isolation plan. Please use the Grubhub app to order your food, then please pickup your order when notified. Please do not enter the dining center until order is ready for pickup and do not eat in the dining halls. Masks are required while in the dining center. However, you are able to purchase meals using the Grubhub app for pickup. If you are unable to pick up your meal, another student can pick up the order and deliver it to your residence hall or room as well. The student picking up the order will need to show the cashier a screenshot of the order to verify the order for pickup. When placing the order, please input the name of the student picking up the order in the comment section.
Will Virginia Tech operate a COVID-19 quarantine/isolation program?
- For the 2021-22 academic year, Virginia Tech will not operate a COVID-19 quarantine and isolation program. It is important for students to work with families to develop an advanced COVID-19 plan should they become infected with COVID-19. As with any communicable disease, the Schiffert Health Center and the Dean of Students Office will work closely with students to implement their plan—or discern alternative solutions as needed. We will have limited capacity to accommodate students who cannot return to their primary residence.
My roommate has tested positive and is isolating in place, what should I do?
- It is important for students to work with their roommates and families to develop an advanced COVID-19 plan should they or their roommate become infected with COVID-19. If you are vaccinated and boosted or vaccinated and not yet eligible for a booster and you do not have symptoms associated with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine but you should always wear a mask. Unvaccinated people should quarantine for five days and then wear a mask for five additional days and continue to monitor for symptoms. The Dean of Students Office will work with students who have unique cases to identify alternative solutions as needed.
Can I go home instead of isolating myself on campus?
- Yes! If possible, you are encouraged to utilize your previous plan to isolate off-campus.
Do I need to quarantine if I have been identified as a close contact?
- If you are vaccinated and boosted or vaccinated and not yet eligible for a booster and you do not have symptoms associated with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine but you should always wear a mask. Unvaccinated people should quarantine for five days and then wear a mask for five additional days and continue to monitor for symptoms.
When is the deadline to submit my vaccination booster documentation?
- We are requiring booster shots within 14 days of eligibility for all students and employees. If you are eligible now, updated information is due by Feb. 1, and we urge you to get your booster as soon as possible. If you are not eligible yet, please schedule your booster as soon as you are able to do so.
Where do I submit my COVID-19 vaccination booster documentation?
- Submit your booster to the VTNotify Vaccine Portal. Please note: Due to the high volume of vaccine documentation uploads, it may take up to 48 business hours for your documentation to be processed.
I still need to get a booster, where can I get one?
- Virginia Tech will have a vaccination booster clinic open to students and employees on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Registration is required for this clinic. Students can also visit the New River Health District’s website for upcoming vaccination clinics, visit your local health district office’s website, or use https://vaccines.gov to book a vaccination or booster appointment with a national pharmacy.
I have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and I am unable to receive my booster shot. What do I need to do?
- If you have tested positive in the last 90 days preventing you from receiving your booster, you will need to follow the instructions below. You will need to upload documentation of your positive result to the Online Health Portal and email Health@vt.edu. A waiver will be placed on your medical record for 90 days after the positive result, plus the 14-day eligibility buffer, for a total of 104 days past the positive result test date. It will be your responsibility to upload the documentation of the booster once you are eligible.
Can I receive a medical or religious exemption for the booster?
- Yes, you can apply for a medical or religious exemption at any time. If you have previously applied for a medical or religious exemption, it will be added to the booster requirement. You should upload your medical or religious exemption documentation to the Online Health Portal.
I have submitted a medical or religious exemption for the university’s COVID-19 booster requirement. Will I be required to participate in the required weekly testing?
- Students who submit exemptions for the booster requirement will be required to participate in weekly testing.