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Provost's Update for Week of August 24-28

When it is safe to be around others: Ending isolation, quarantine

The Virginia Department of Health has created an infographic that provides guidelines for ending isolation in non-healthcare settings and ending quarantine and returning to work for those who have been exposed to COVID-19. This resource also helps define what is “close contact” and who is considered “contagious.”

  • Isolation: The act of separating people infected with a contagious disease (with or without symptoms) from people who are not sick, completely eliminating movement within the community while contagious.
  • Quarantine: The act of separating and restricting the movement of people who were exposed to contagious disease to determine if they are sick.

Close contact includes:

  • Living with a person who has COVID-19
  • Providing care for a person who has COVID-19
  • Being within 6 feet of a person who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes
  • Having exposure to respiratory secretions (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on; sharing drinking glass or utensils; etc.) from a person who has COVID-19.)

NOTE: A masked person who maintains the required physical distance of 6 feet from a masked infected individual, for a period less than 15 minutes, is not considered a contact, as there is a very low risk of transmitting the infection under those conditions.

A person with COVID-19 is considered to be “contagious” starting from two days before they became sick (or two days before they tested positive if they never had symptoms) until they meet the criteria to discontinue isolation. Release from isolation occurs 10 days after the start of symptoms or 10 days after a positive test in the case of an asymptomatic individual. In both cases, these individuals can still test positive for up to three months, but the they are not infective. Quarantine lasts 14 days and is only employed with those identified as contacts by the VDH.

Guidance for department heads: Faculty with COVID-19 positive, symptomatic students

In an effort to provide clear and focused information for department heads who have faculty with students that have tested positive, may be symptomatic for, or have been exposed to COVID-19, an FAQ have been developed to address these concerns and provide contact information for properly advising faculty (and their students) on university health and safety protocols.

  • If a faculty member in my department reports that a student has tested positive or has been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive student in his/her class or lab, what do I do?
  • How should I advise a faculty member who has a student asking how they can get tested?
  • How should I advise a faculty member that has a student who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms in his/her class or lab?
  • How should I advise a faculty member who has a student asking how they can get tested if the student is enrolled at one of the Northern Virginia locations?

The complete FAQ is posted on the Provost’s website and VT Ready. We will continue to expand this FAQ through feedback from department heads and faculty, and information from university health and safety officials.

Troubleshooting your course technology: Online open office hours with TLOS and CETL

TLOS and CETL will host online open office hours on Fridays at 3:00 p.m. Faculty are welcome to join the discussion via Zoom and share questions, comments, successes and challenges experienced as they begin fall course instruction.

These online sessions are an opportunity for faculty to receive just-in-time answers as they troubleshoot their course. Open office hours are scheduled as follows:

  • Friday, August 28 - 3:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, September 4 - 3:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, September 11 - 3:00-4:00 p.m.

More info can be found via the VT Daily email campus notice.

Classroom/lab space cleaning protocol

The Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities deploys cleaning and disinfecting practices in accordance with CDC, ISSA (the cleaning industry’s global professional organization), and Virginia Tech Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) guidelines. Nightly, classrooms and lecture areas are deep cleaned and disinfected using EPA registered chemicals. Surfaces are wiped and left wet for effective dwell time. Electrostatic sprayers and misting machines may be used to improve productivity and coverage.

Recent Resource & Document Updates

Please visit VT Ready and the Provost’s website frequently for new and updated university information. All members of the campus community should also read their VT Daily email for further important updates, notices, and resources.