University creates new guidance for fall events

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Virginia Tech has created new guidance for fall semester that allows for some in-person events on campus or in Virginia Tech space.

The guidance was established using public health information specifically for events set forth by the Virginia governor’s office and public safety experts. Virtual events should continue to be conducted when feasible as the health and safety of the community remains a top priority.

The guidance will be used by scheduling offices across campus when they consider approving potential events, meetings, practices, programs or speakers, in addition to the Policy 5000 review. Departments, units or areas should use the same guidance when planning any in-person events for locations without a scheduling office.

Athletics and entertainment venues will have separate guidance based on the governor’s office and public health guidelines specific for their industry.

Under the guidance, the minimally acceptable practices are as follows:

Masks/face coverings will be required for all individuals at all events.

Physical distancing of 6 feet should be maintained at all events; in some cases greater distancing is necessary to comply with public health requirements. The greater the activity, the greater distancing needed.

Limit attendance to ensure adequate physical distancing. No more than 250 people may participate at any event and often less based on specific space-use restrictions. For example, Burruss Hall auditorium, which normally seats 2,939, will be able to accommodate only 232 for a seated event this fall.

Event hosts or sponsors will need to track attendance to help with contact tracing efforts.

Events that cannot restrict access to the general public should not take place (i.e. people not invited to the event should not gain entrance; if control to access points cannot be maintained, the event should not happen).

In alignment with public health guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, events should limit attendees to those affiliated with Virginia Tech, or in some cases, the immediately surrounding communities.

Events should avoid food and beverage services to minimize exposure potential.

Events should be 60 minutes or less.

Any event may need to be altered or canceled at any time in support of public health efforts.

The following additional guidelines are necessary for working with a scheduling office:

Student organizations may not reserve space for events that are scheduled to occur after the end of on-campus activities, Friday, Nov. 20.

Scheduling offices will require event hosts or sponsors to supplement their reservation forms with the COVID-19 form.

Insurance needs shall follow Policy 5000 recommendations from risk management.

Failure to adhere to required COVID-19 mitigating strategies may result in revocation of reservation privileges for the event sponsor (student organization, university department or nonuniversity group) for the remainder of the semester.

Certain classrooms will be available for student organization reservations for the fall. McBryde Hall, New Classroom Building, and Pamplin Hall will be available for reservations from 5-10 p.m. Monday through Friday; McBryde and New Classroom Building will be available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. These specific building classrooms will be reservable through event services beginning two weeks after the start of classes.

More details are available at [email protected].

Because of the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, changes to event guidance may be necessary during the semester and will be communicated with event hosts or sponsors.