BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Friday begins an exciting time for Virginia Tech students, especially the newest Hokies on campus.
Friday, Aug. 14, marks the first day students can start moving on campus for the fall semester. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the process is going to be very different than in the past.
Virginia Tech students usually have four days to move on campus, but in order to avoid an overwhelming number of people on campus at one time amid the pandemic, the university is stretching out the time period of moving in to 11 days.
“This is a time like no other,” said university spokesperson, Mark Owczarski.
Every student moving in and whomever is helping them must wear a face covering. Each person is also assigned a specific date and time they are allowed to come to campus. Furthermore, they will have just two hours to move everything into their new rooms.
There are usually other Virginia Tech students called “Hokie Helpers” assisting with the process. While they will still continue that role, they will not be as hands-on this year to avoid any potential spread of COVID-19.
“Folks are anxious,” Owczarski said. “People do have anxieties about COVID-19 in general and moving into a strange environment has its own anxieties. Moving away from home for the very first time is on top of that. Virginia Tech wants to help those students and families through the transition.”
Approximately 9,100 students are expected to move on campus over the 11-day period.
There are some other major step students must take after settling onto campus.
For example, every student living on campus must go to Lane Stadium and get tested for the coronavirus. In addition, they have all been assigned to a specific date and time to be tested.
Owczarski says students should expect their results no more than two days after the test.
Prior to coming to campus, all students were also asked to self-quarantine. However, they also must be prepared to take the necessary actions if they end up testing positive for the virus after moving in.
“We all have to do the thins that public health officials are telling us to do,” Owczarski said. “It is our actions and our behaviors that keep us the safest.”
If a student tests positive for the virus, they will either be asked to go home and get the medical attention needed to recover before returning, or go to a special portion of campus set up for isolation so they can quarantine.
However, students will be able to continue taking their classes — which kick off on Aug. 24 — online until they recover.
As for students living off-campus, they are not required to be tested at Lane Stadium, but they can request a test by setting up an appointment through the Schiffert Health Center.
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