COVID-19: New reopening guidelines starting Aug. 3
July 29, 2020
On Aug. 3, along with the rest of Virginia Tech, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute entered the next phase of modified operations during which some additional personnel returned from teleworking to onsite work.
The following links are to guidance on the reopening of the university, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, and research operations:
- Daily COVID-19 Self-Assessment Screening for the Research Institute
- Town hall on COVID-19 testing and tracing (July 31, 2020)
- Message from the director, Q&As and information regarding on-site precautions, telework and safety pertaining to the research institute and graduate education. (July 29, 2020)
- Virginia Tech updates plans for student testing (July 29, 2020)
- COVID-19 testing, tracing and case management (July 29, 2020)
- Information from Virginia Tech Vice President for Human Resources Bryan Garey (July 28, 2020)
- Virginia Tech's Plan for the fall semester
- Community Wellness Commitment
Reopening guidance from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) and the research institute:
In conjunction with the university’s efforts to restore in-class instruction and on-campus experiences for the fall 2020 semester, Virginia Tech will gradually transition from its current status of Essential Operations – as defined under Presidential Policy Memorandum 309 – to a modified operations mode by Aug. 3.
The Transition Plan, according to OVPRI, consists of three phases to complement Gov. Ralph Northam’s Forward Virginia plan to reopen the commonwealth, which is now in Phase Two. The Transition Plan provides a framework and process for scaling operations to be consistent with the governor on the easing of restrictions, and in accordance with university policy with public health guidelines in place. These guidelines are subject to change based on updated guidance from local, state, federal, or other public health directives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Research Institute open to the public? The front doors of the Riverside 2 building will be open during normal business hours. Guests entering must also wear masks, keep appropriate distance, sign in at the reception desk, fill out the health survey, and have their temperature scanned. The Riverside 4 building will remain on restricted access.
Do I have to come to work if I am concerned about catching COVID or can I continue to telework indefinitely? That is a decision that will be made in consultation with your supervisor that takes into account your personal circumstances and job duties. This policy is subject to change as circumstances evolve.
What if my job duties require all/some presence at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and my situation is such that I cannot or prefer not to come to the FBRI to work? Discuss the situation with your supervisor and they will work with you to try to identify a solution. Please note that there are some jobs or aspects of certain jobs that require some/all on-site work presence.
Do I have to wear a mask when I am at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute? Masks should be worn at all times except when in a private closed room, while eating/drinking in a designated space, if you are an animal care worker while in designated spaces, or if you have health or religious reasons that prevent wearing a mask, in which case, your supervisor will work out an alternative work plan with you.
Do the mask rules apply across all buildings on the Health Sciences and Technology campus as well as in common spaces and at the School of Medicine? Yes
Can I work in close proximity to another person (less than 6 feet for greater than 15 minutes)? Yes, but only if you and the others in that situation are all wearing fitted N95 masks.
Do I have to complete the online Daily COVID-19 Self-Assessment Screening every day that I will be at the FBRI? Yes, and you must receive a green pass to work in the building that day – if you receive a red “no go,” do not enter the building and discuss plans with your supervisor and HR.
If I am a graduate student, is it necessary that I be on-site? Depending on the circumstances, it may be. Please discuss the details with your supervisor and/or graduate program director. For GRAs and GTAs, there are certain duties (research, teaching) that may require your physical presence while others may be accomplished through teleworking. For graduate programs, there may be circumstances that require your presence in a classroom or lab – please discuss with your graduate program director. In all cases where on-site activities occur, the strict health safety guidelines including social distancing, wearing of masks, cleaning of areas, passing the daily online attestation and other health and safety mitigation policies will be in place.
Where should I eat my lunch or snack? Please try to avoid having several people eating in small break rooms simultaneously. Outside spaced dining is strongly encouraged.