74ºF

Virginia Tech issues coronavirus travel warning ahead of spring break

‘You must not return to a Virginia Tech campus or facility until you can demonstrate that you show no symptoms.’

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech is issuing a warning for students and staff as the threat of coronavirus continues to grow across the United States and internationally.

The university’s spring break begins on March 7. Knowing that many students will be traveling, the university issued a warning on Thursday:

“If your travels take you through a CDC Warning Level 3 travel notice area or other areas identified by the university, whether studying abroad, teaching, conducting research, or on spring break, you must not return to a Virginia Tech campus or facility until you can demonstrate that you show no symptoms associated with COVID-19 — cough, fever, shortness of breath — for a period of 14 days from the date of entering/reentering the United States. Travelers should self-quarantine and follow CDC and local health authority guidelines.”

CDC Warning Level 3 travel notice areas include China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

Students like fifth-year engineering student Drew Wagner were not very concerned about the coronavirus coming to campus.

“I don’t really think it’s going to be a big deal," said Wagner, who is planning to head to Florida for spring break.

“I have heard some stuff, like from people coming back from Tech for like foreign abroad programs in like Italy and whatnot and they‘ve been flown back recently," said Wagner. “They’re quarantined now so they have to be there for a couple days.”

Virginia Tech students walk around campus one day before spring break amidst an international coronavirus outbreak.
Virginia Tech students walk around campus one day before spring break amidst an international coronavirus outbreak. (WSLS)

Freshman Mike Tran, who has family and friends in Vietnam and China, said the coronavirus is a real threat.

“I have a friend in China right now and he had to evacuate to the countryside because he was near the Wuhan Province," Tran said. "I know many people who are just outright banning, like cutting out their own plans to go to countries that have high rates of the virus.”

Tran was planning a trip to Vietnam in 2021, but he said he won’t be traveling anytime soon.

“If the virus still stands to be a threat to public health in that area, then I’m definitely canceling plans there.”

The CDC’s self-quarantine guidelines include:

  • Restriction of activities outside of your home except for visits to a medical professional for evaluation.
  • Limited contact with other members of the residence, including pets.
  • Frequent hand washing.
  • Consistent cleaning of all high-touch surfaces such as tables, countertops, doorknobs, keyboards, tablets, bathroom fixtures, television remotes, phones, and other areas.
  • Restricted sharing of such household items as drinking glasses, plates, utensils, bedding, towels, and clothing.
  • Regularly washing dishes, clothing, and bedding.

Virginia Tech also advised students and staff to keep their dated arrival receipt of travel because it may be needed as proof to return to a Virginia Tech campus location.

Travelers with additional questions or concerns related to self-quarantining or COVID-19 should contact Schiffert Health Center at health@vt.edu or 540-231-6444.


About the Author: