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COVID-19 Relocation Protocol

Updated Monday, October 19, 2020.

This page details Housing & Residence Life's COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Protocol. Be sure to visit the Virginia Tech Ready site and Schiffert Health Center's FAQs.


FULL QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION PROTOCOL:

INITIAL COMMUNICATION

Schiffert Health Center will serve as the coordinating party for all on-campus student COVID-19 concerns. Students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or concerned about possible exposure to COVID-19 should contact Schiffert Health Center at (540-231-6444).

Upon evaluation, Schiffert Health Center will determine the following:

  • Whether isolation or quarantine is necessary.
  • The method by which said isolation or quarantine is to be conducted.
  • The length of the isolation or quarantine period.

Any student directed to relocate will have the same expectations for the duration of their isolation or quarantine period – regardless of whether they are isolation or quarantining. These expectations include:

  • Remain in their room for the duration of the isolation or quarantine period - except in the case of emergencies.
  • Wear a mask for the duration of transport to isolation or quarantine space.
  • Wear a mask when opening the door to retrieve food or mail items.

The act of separating people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick, completely eliminating movement within the community while contagious.

During the isolation period, these individuals are to avoid all contact with others. They should stay in their designated isolation space at all times, except in the case of emergency.

As a result, isolated individuals must remain in a room with a private bathroom for the duration of the isolation period. However, multiple isolated individuals may reside in the same room if isolated individuals were exposed to infection within the same time period as determined by a medical professional. Necessary items, such as food, hygiene, and household items, should be brought to the isolation space in order to mitigate the spread of disease.

Separating people who may have been exposed to contagious disease while determining if they have been infected.

During the quarantine period, movement is restricted, but not eliminated. These individuals should avoid all unnecessary contact with others.

In some cases, students may be directed to quarantine in their own room. In other cases, students may need to relocate to a separate, designated quarantine or isolation space. This determination is at the discretion of Schiffert Health Center.

PREPARING FOR RELOCATION

Should Schiffert Health Center determine there is a need for an on-campus student to be moved from their traditional housing assignment, Schiffert Health Center will notify Housing and Residence Life. We will work with the student and their family to determine whether the student will complete their isolation or quarantine period at their permanent address or in a designated on-campus facility.

If a student will relocate on campus, Housing & Residence Life will make contact with the student and provide the student with instructions on how to retrieve needed items from their regularly assigned space. The student will be required to bring clothing, medication, toiletries, hairdryer, school supplies, chargers, and other needed personal items to the relocation space with them. We also recommend that they bring their own pillow. A full itemized packing list can be found here.

While the student retrieves their items, Housing & Residence Life will assign the student to their new space. New Hall West will serve as the primary isolation and quarantine space. Once the relocation space has been determined, we will provide the student access to their new space and contact them via phone to notify them of their assignment. They will be able to use their Hokie Passport and regular PIN to enter the space.

Specific instructions for entering their isolation or quarantine space will be sent via email to the student.

WHILE IN RELOCATION SPACE

LINENS AND BASIC SUPPLIES

Sheets, towels, and basic necessities such as cleaning supplies and paper products will be provided in an emergency kit that will be placed in the relocation space prior to student arrival.


FOOD

Students will retain access to dining options while in their relocation space through coordination between Dining Services and Housing and Residence Life. Students will have a choice of three boxes for each meal period: Regular, Vegan, and Gluten free. On the day of relocation, students will receive a vegan meal for all meals. For all following days, students will submit their daily selections to dining services the day prior to meal delivery.

Dining will process payment for meals utilizing the student's Dining Plan. All delivery staff will knock, place meals outside students' doors, and walk away. There will be no contact with students in isolation or quarantine. Students are expected to wear a mask whenever they open their door to receive food items. Students have also been provided with non-perishable snack items in their emergency kit.


ISOLATION ASSISTANTS

Isolation Assistants (IAs) provide social and emotional support to students who are relocated on campus - similar to a Resident Advisor (RA) in a traditional residence hall. All students residing in an on-campus relocation space are assigned an IA.

Isolation Assistants meet with students in individual and group settings during their stay and also facilitate regular, virtual activities for all relocated students including game and movie nights. We encourage all relocated students to be on the lookout for information from their IA regarding engagement opportunities!

Additionally, Isolation Assistants serve in on-call rotation to provide support and assistance to relocated students when university offices are closed. Students will receive information on how to contact the IA On Call upon being moved to their relocation space.


TRASH REMOVAL

Trash bags are provided to students in the emergency kit in their room. Residents should place trash bags outside their doors for removal by 8:00 AM on Monday and Friday mornings. DSA Facilities will collect and dispose of the bags during regular cleaning.


LAUNDRY

Residents are provided a small bottle of laundry detergent in their emergency kit. To the extent possible, we encourage residents to use this detergent to wash necessary items in their sinks and air dry them during the isolation period. If it is absolutely necessary for laundry to be removed from the isolation space to be washed, residents should reach out to Housing and Residence Life via housing@vt.edu.


MAIL

Students are able to receive mail while relocated. Guidelines and requirements for package delivery can be found here.


CONTINUED STUDENT CONTACT

In addition to communication with their Isolation Assistant, relocated students can expect regular outreach from the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office is able to assist students with both academic and personal needs that may arise as a result of their relocation. While in quarantine or isolation, students will also receive check-in calls as needed from Schiffert Health Center.

CHECKING OUT OF RELOCATION SPACE

Once the quarantine or isolation period has ended, students will return to their regularly assigned rooms. Students will receive an email the evening prior to their release date with instructions for leaving their on-campus relocation space. Students will be instructed to leave their relocation space by 11am on the day isolation or quarantine ends and place all emergency kit items back in the tub. Students will also place all linens in the provided plastic bag. Students will leave emergency kits and the bag of linens in their rooms.


INFO FOR STUDENTS, PARENTS, AND STAFF:

STUDENTS:

If you test positive, or if Schiffert Health Center deems it necessary for you to relocate to quarantine space while being evaluated for COVID-19, the first question to ask is if you are able to return home or not. If that's possible, we highly recommend it, as you will likely be more comfortable at home with folks who can care for you.

If that is not possible, we will initiate the relocation protocol detailed above. If you are moved to relocation, be sure to take advantage of your free pass to wellness events and virtual offerings from VT Rec Sports. Check the link in your email titled "COVID Relocation Information" for details.

No. It is vital that you maintain community safety by remaining in your relocation space. If you are in a mandated isolation or quarantine period and break protocol by leaving your relocation space (outside of emergency situations, such as fire alarms), you will face consequences through Student Conduct. We receive an automatic email notification if a student leaves their relocation space.

Yes! Guidelines and requirements for package delivery can be found here.

All decisions regarding length of the isolation or quarantine period are made by Schiffert Health Center. However, in most cases, students must complete the full duration of their quarantine or isolation period even if a negative test is received once the quarantine or isolation period begins. Learn more here.

If you are moved to relocation, be sure to take advantage of your free pass to wellness events and virtual offerings from VT Rec Sports. Check the link in your email titled "COVID Relocation Information" for details. Offerings include:

  • Virtual Group Exercise (Live Classes) - Formats include: Yoga, Pilates, CXWORX, HIIT, Barre, Core Conditioning and Cardio Dance. The classes require minimal to no equipment. Classes are offered at a variety of times during the day and offered 7 days a week. You can view the weekly schedule here. While in isolation, you can request free access to this virtual group exercise program.
  • HokieFit Workouts - Designed by Virginia Tech Personal Trainers, these workouts can be done on your own schedule. The HokieFit 2-week kickstart workouts include 2-weeks of workouts and require minimal to no equipment so they can be done in your own home, apartment, or residence hall. No sign up is required.
  • Virtual Escape Room - Test your Virginia Tech trivia to save the HokieBird in our Virtual Escape Room! The objective of a typical escape room is to navigate through themed rooms by finding clues and solving puzzles. The Rec Sports Virtual Escape Room recreates this experience by taking you through a written adventure along with pictures, videos, and multiple-choice questions. Users can complete this escape room individually or compete against friends. Simply work together or enter the challenge separately and see who can escape first!

We ask that you keep your windows closed. In air-conditioned spaces, mold is frequently caused by open windows (humid outside air mixing with cooler “conditioned” indoor air)

The Dean of Students Office will work with you to provide absence verification should you need to miss class due to your illness. The Dean of Students Office will check in with you regularly, so please be sure to bring this up with them.

Roommates of students who are directed to isolate or test positive will be relocated to a designated quarantine space on campus through the protocol delineated above and expected to remain in their relocation space for the duration of the isolation or quarantine period.

All decisions regarding length of the isolation or quarantine period are made by Schiffert Health Center. However, in most cases, students must complete the full duration of their quarantine or isolation period even if a negative test is received once the quarantine or isolation period begins. Learn more here.

Additionally, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is conducting all contact tracing. Should VDH determine a hallmate or friend is at risk, that student will receive direct outreach and direction from Schiffert Health Center and/or Virginia Department of Health regarding the need to isolate or quarantine.

In the case of a fire or other emergency situation, please vacate the building. You must wear a face covering and maintain social distance from others during the emergency.

You will retain access to dining options while in isolation. Your meals will be delivered to your door. For the duration of your stay, you will have a choice of three boxes for each meal period (regular, vegan, gluten free). You will submit your selections to Dining Services and indicate any additional dietary restrictions using a form that will be emailed to you upon your relocation.

When meals are delivered, staff will knock and leave your food right outside your door in order to minimize interaction. Please wait a few minutes after the staff knock before you open your door to retrieve your food items to ensure there is no interaction with staff. You will also need to wear a mask when retrieving your food items.

Please note, you are not able to receive food deliveries from entities other than Dining Services during your stay. Unfortunately, this means you will not be able to receive food from places like Grub Hub, Door Dash, Dominoes, etc.

Cook Counseling Center is offering a weekly support group for students who are isolated due to a COVID+ diagnosis. The group mets every Monday at 12:00pm. We will send the zoom link to students in isolation. We also encourage you to reach out to your Isolation Assistant and participate in the events and activities they have planned throughout your stay!

Additional resources are available through Schiffert Health Center, Cook Counseling Center, and the Dean of Students Office. Schiffert will place check-in phone calls with students in isolation as needed. We will do everything in our power to ensure students are well cared for.

PARENTS:

If your child tests positive or is required to relocate to quarantine space while being evaluated for COVID-19, please have a conversation with them about if it is possible for them to return home. We are working hard to make the relocation experience as comfortable and positive as possible, but they will likely have a better experience at home with your care. If that is not possible, or if their return would put you or a family member at risk, we will initiate the relocation protocol detailed above.

All decisions regarding length of the isolation or quarantine period are made by Schiffert Health Center. However, in most cases, students must complete the full duration of their quarantine or isolation period even if a negative test is received once the quarantine or isolation period begins. Learn more here.

You can send your packages to Student's Name, 190 West Campus Drive Suite 144, Room XXX, Blacksburg, VA 24061. Packages will be delivered outside of the student's room.

Please note, food deliveries from entities like Campus Cookies, Tech Treats, Edible Arrangements, Dominoes, etc. are unable to be accepted.

Cook Counseling Center is offering a weekly support group for students who are isolated due to a COVID+ diagnosis. The group mets every Monday at 12:00pm. We will send the zoom link to students in isolation. They will also be supported by their assigned Isolation Assistant.

Additional resources are available through Schiffert Health Center, Cook Counseling Center, and the Dean of Students Office. Schiffert will place check-in phone calls as needed with students in isolation. We will do everything in our power to ensure students are well cared for.

All medical information will be relayed directly to your student via phone and/or secure message in their Schiffert Health Portal. As usual, we will use your student's listed emergency contact should there be an emergency situation.

STAFF:

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do in support of our students and campus community. If you are a professional staff member that is concerned about a potential COVID-19 exposure, please contact the Virginia Department of Health or your primary care physician. If you are a student staff member that is concerned about a potential COVID-19 exposure, you can contact Schiffert Health Center. If you have additional questions not covered below, please let Housing & Residence Life know.

Students’ medical information is personal and confidential. You should not share any information regarding students who have been relocated.

The Virginia Department of Health is conducting all contact tracing. VDH will reach out directly to any individual they deem to be at risk of exposure to COVID-19.

The direct roommate of any student who is placed into isolation will be placed into quarantine as a precautionary measure. The quarantining roommate will receive a phone call from a Virginia Tech staff member to walk them through their quarantining options as explained in the "preparing for relocation" section above.

Additionally, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is conducting all contact tracing. Should VDH determine a hallmate or friend is at risk, that student will receive direct outreach and direction from Schiffert Health Center and/or Virginia Department of Health regarding the need to isolate or quarantine. Learn more here.

Roommates of students who are directed to isolate or test positive will be relocated to a designated quarantine space on campus through the protocol delineated above and expected to remain in their relocation space for the duration of the isolation or quarantine period.

Additionally, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is conducting all contact tracing. Should VDH determine a hallmate or friend is at risk, that student will receive direct outreach and direction from Schiffert Health Center and/or Virginia Department of Health regarding the need to isolate or quarantine. Learn more here.

In some cases where there is a lower risk of exposure, VDH may direct students to quarantine-in-place instead of in a designated relocation space. Students who are quarantining in place are permitted to leave their rooms for food and other basic necessities, but should remain in their regularly assigned room as much as possible. When tending to basic needs, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • All food orders should be to-go orders
  • Face covering must be worn at all times
  • Social distancing should be maintained at all times
  • Tend to needs as quickly as possible and return to room. Do not linger.
  • Maintain caution and monitor any symptoms

OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Cook Counseling Center is offering a weekly support group for students who are isolated due to a COVID+ diagnosis. The group mets every Monday at 12:00pm. We will send the zoom link to students in isolation. They will also be supported by their assigned Isolation Assistant.

Additional resources are available through Schiffert Health Center, Cook Counseling Center, and the Dean of Students' Office. Schiffert will place check-in phone calls with students in isolation as needed. We will do everything in our power to ensure students are well cared for.

Once notified of a student that is to be relocated to isolation or quarantine, DSA Facilities will perform enhanced cleaning on all common pathways, common spaces and bathrooms of the residence hall where the student resided prior to relocation, as well as their room, when needed. The treatment within room consists of application of Brutab-6S cleaner (a bleach alternate which is effective against a broad spectrum of viruses, including coronavirus) using a cold-fog atomizer which broadly coats surfaces with a light coverage of the disinfectant, electrostatic sprayers, or wet-rag application as appropriate. The application is primarily focused on hard surfaces and high touchpoint areas such as chair backs, desks, drawer handles, door handles, common area furniture, etc. This, along with Alpha HP, are the two primary sanitizer and disinfectant chemicals used throughout the residence hall system. These chemicals are mixed according to intended usage (general cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection) according to manufacturer specifications.

After a student has left their relocation space, the space will be thoroughly cleaned and restocked with supplies for a future occupant.

Students in relocation can take advantage of a free pass to wellness events and virtual offerings from VT Rec Sports. Students in relocation should check the link in their email titled "COVID Relocation Information" for details. Offerings include:

  • Virtual Group Exercise (Live Classes) - Formats include: Yoga, Pilates, CXWORX, HIIT, Barre, Core Conditioning and Cardio Dance. The classes require minimal to no equipment. Classes are offered at a variety of times during the day and offered 7 days a week. You can view the weekly schedule here. While in isolation, you can request free access to this virtual group exercise program.
  • HokieFit Workouts - Designed by Virginia Tech Personal Trainers, these workouts can be done on your own schedule. The HokieFit 2-week kickstart workouts include 2-weeks of workouts and require minimal to no equipment so they can be done in your own home, apartment, or residence hall. No sign up is required.
  • Virtual Escape Room - Test your Virginia Tech trivia to save the HokieBird in our Virtual Escape Room! The objective of a typical escape room is to navigate through themed rooms by finding clues and solving puzzles. The Rec Sports Virtual Escape Room recreates this experience by taking you through a written adventure along with pictures, videos, and multiple-choice questions. Users can complete this escape room individually or compete against friends. Simply work together or enter the challenge separately and see who can escape first!

Virginia Tech will use the COVID-19 Dashboard to keep the community informed about the number of COVID-19 test results and the number of students in on-campus isolation spaces. The dashboard will be updated on a regular basis using data from Schiffert Health Center.

Housing & Residence Life staff will monitor relocation spaces closely. We have set up an alert system that notifies us if a student leaves their relocation space. Access to the student's regular room assignment will be turned off during the duration of their isolation stay. Students that are in mandated isolation or quarantine periods and break protocol by leaving their relocation space (outside of emergency situations, such as fire alarms) will face consequences through Student Conduct.