Virginia Tech to require booster shots for spring semester

Boosters required for both students and employees

The mandate applies to both students and employees

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech will now require all students and employees to get a booster shot ahead of the spring semester as Hokies prepare to return to campus.

“We must begin the new year with that same commitment as we will likely be fighting two COVID-19 variants along with seasonal influenza and other common respiratory infections,” said Tim Sands, university president. “Our goal is to operate safely and in person to the greatest extent possible, while also protecting the capacity of the health care systems in our communities.”

The university is requiring Hokies to take three steps ahead of next semester.

1. Get a COVID-19 booster

The university is requiring students and employees to get a booster shot within 14 days of eligibility. If currently eligible, updated information is due by Feb. 1 and school officials urge you to get your booster as soon as possible.

Students and employees will need to upload their updated vaccination records as soon as they get their booster, and religious and medical exemption procedures are still in place.

2. Take a COVID-19 test before returning to campus

Any students who live on campus will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test result before moving back to campus.

Both PCR or Antigen tests will be accepted and must be administered no more than 72 hours before moving back onto campus. Students are asked to get tested before returning, but for those who aren’t able to get a test before coming back to campus, testing will be provided. However, if a student tests positive, they won’t be able to move back into on-campus housing until their quarantine period is complete.

The university will continue to weekly test unvaccinated students and employees.

3. Continue to wear a mask

“While we had hoped to relax mask requirements for indoor public spaces, the uptick in infections tells us our best approach is to continue wearing masks in indoor public and instructional spaces for at least the beginning of the spring semester,” said Sands. “Beyond vaccines, masks are the most important tool we have for reducing the spread of COVID-19.”

University officials are urging Hokies to opt for a KN95 or equivalent.

To learn more and read the full statement, click here.

About the Author:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a content producer in July 2018.