BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Based on the guidance of health officials and the current coronavirus data, Virginia Tech decided to extend the university’s mask requirement for everyone — regardless of vaccination status — when indoors in designated public areas until further notice.
University officials announced on Tuesday, Sept. 14 they made this choice after reviewing public health data, which includes high virus transmission rates around the New River Valley and around Virginia.
As part of this extended mandate — which was originally issued on Aug. 5 — all instructors and students need to wear masks in all classrooms and laboratories.
According to school officials, masks will also be required while riding Blacksburg Transit or other forms of mass transportation, visiting or working at Schiffert Health Center, and visiting or working at Virginia Tech Environmental Health and Safety Occupational Health Clinic.
In addition, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors at all Virginia Tech owned or leased facilities in communities with substantial or high community transmission will be required to wear a mask in indoor public spaces, the university says.
“Indoor public spaces include all lobbies, foyers, atriums, hallways, and elevators in university-owned or leased facilities accessible by the general public; academic spaces used by students for classrooms or teaching laboratories not typically open for access by the general public; and auditorium, arena, theatre, museum, concert hall, or other areas used for a performance or an exhibit of the arts or sciences; and any public meeting room. Library spaces and training rooms are also indoor public spaces,” Virginia Tech said on the Ready website.
However, this mask mandate reportedly does not apply to private work places — such as any office, work area, or employment meeting space that is not open to the public in the normal course of business — or outdoor settings.
As for on-campus residence halls, the university says masks will not be required due to the lower risk of transmission among a largely-vaccinated student community. Students will still need to wear masks in dining facilities, though, if they are not eating or drinking.
Virginia Tech says you can find answers to frequently asked questions about these and other pandemic requirements on the Ready website.
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