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VTCSOM COVID update January 3, 2022

Virtual classes and other COVID updates January 3, 2022

Special Notice as of January 3, 2022

Given the special circumstances of the Roanoke Region and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine's unique public-private partnership with Carilion Clinic, we have implemented the following measures specific to the college’s campus in Roanoke.

January 3, 2022

Dear VTCSOM faculty and staff,

I hope you have had a restful break and a wonderful holiday. Yesterday President Sands sent out a memo detailing the requirements for VT students, faculty, and staff in returning to school. As you know, the Roanoke area is facing the beginnings of a surge with the omicron variant; this combined with the knowledge that many of our students, faculty, and staff have been traveling has led Virginia Tech and VTCSOM to consider modifying the planned beginning of the spring semester.

Our medical students will return to virtual learning the first 1-2 weeks.  Classes for M1 and M2 students will be virtual for the first two weeks of January. The M3 and M4 students will have virtual assignments for the first week before returning to the clerkships and electives. Curriculum leaders have been notified of these changes. Moving forward, additional decisions regarding curriculum delivery will depend on trends in new cases, test positivity, hospitalizations, and the impact of these factors on the learning environment. COVID-19 testing for all students is being arranged through Dr. Knight’s office.   Students with positive PCR tests will follow public health guidelines for isolation, with the potential of additional requirements for M3 and M4 students returning to a clerkships or elective rotations. 

Travelers will need to be tested before returning to the building.  If you traveled outside of southwest Virginia during the break you will be required to have a Covid 19 test before you can enter the medical school building or other VT facilities.  The plans for testing are still being worked out but it is likely that staff can be tested on January 11 at Riverside 4. If you have not traveled and have not been ill during the break you may return to the building on January 3. A small number of deans and other dean’s office leaders who are Carilion employees and have traveled during the break, will need to be Covid 19 tested before entering the VTCSOM facility. Plans for their testing will be made through Carilion, with details and appointment times forthcoming in a separate email.  Faculty and staff with positive PCR tests will follow public health guidelines for isolation, with the potential for additional measures before returning to clinical duty.

VT employees will need to upload documentation of booster immunization status. All students and employees are required to receive a booster shot within 14 days of eligibility.  If you are eligible now, your updated immunization information is due by February 1.  Existing approved exemptions will be honored. Further instructions including the link for uploading your booster information is available here: https://ready.vt.edu/vaccinations.html. We also recommend, if you have not done so already, that you upgrade from a cloth or surgical mask to a better fitting and more protective one like the KN95 mask.

It is amazing how much experience we have gained since March of 2020. This makes it easier to remain nimble during the ebbs and flows of this pandemic.  Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do as we all work together to navigate our way through this academic year.

Lee A. Learman, MD, PhD 
Dean, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine