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Family E-Newsletter: August 2020

As your student prepares for the fall semester, please know that there are many well-being resources available to help them maintain their health and thrive during this unprecedented time.

Recreational Sports is committed to providing clean and safe services, programs, and opportunities for the fall semester. As final logistics are being decided that comply with our university and Governor Northam’s guidelines, further details regarding memberships, registration, and participatory details will continue to be announced in early August. Below is an overview of Rec Sports’ in-person and virtual operations plan for the fall semester:

Indoor recreation facilities: McComas will be open with several changes to enhance cleaning procedures, to allow for physical distancing, and to promote public health and safety measures. Available spaces include 8-lane pool, cardio and weight rooms, an indoor walking/running track, fitness studios, and locker rooms. War Memorial Hall will be closed for the year for major renovations.

Field House and Outdoor Spaces will be open for a combination of walk-up open recreation and scheduled programs. These spaces include recreation turf fields (”lower fields”), natural grass fields (“upper fields”), Marching Virginians field, Prairie Quad Fitness Park, Golf Course, Venture Out Challenge Course and the Washington Street Tennis Courts. All spaces may be used with proper physical distancing.

Fitness Programs: Group exercise classes will have in-person, on-demand, and live stream options to meet the needs of all group exercise members. Classes such as yoga, cycling, BODYPUMP, and HIIT will be offered. Personal training and small group training are also available in-person as well as virtually. Schedules for small group training and group exercise classes will be available in August.

Intramural Sports and Sport Clubs: Intramural Sports will begin with a series of self-report leagues and special events with skill competitions. Self-report leagues will include activities such as tennis, golf, disc golf and geocaching. Skill competitions will include activities such as football, soccer, and basketball skills. Other tournaments such as volleyball, pickleball and badminton will be scheduled with proper safety precautions. Sport clubs may practice if able to follow safety protocols. However, sport clubs will not travel or host competitions on-site during the Fall. Some sports have developed virtual competitions so clubs can compete without traveling.

Venture Out: Outdoor rec offerings will include rentals for gear such as canoes, camp stoves, SUPs and bikes that can be thoroughly cleaned between uses. All gear rental will be appointment based with curb-side pickup. Adventure trips will be “park and play” style which means we will meet you there with equipment and limited instructional elements. The Challenge Course will be open for small group registrations.

Student Employees will be critical to providing recreation facilities and programs. All staff will wear masks while in high traffic areas and when unable to be physically distant. Plexiglass barriers have been installed at the service desks for all facilities. Student employee roles include facility monitors, facility supervisors, lifeguards, membership service attendants, health and safety instructors, intramural sport scorekeepers and supervisors, graphic designers, fitness instructors, personal trainers, Venture Out trip leaders, and office assistants.

Final decisions and further details will be communicated at the beginning of August. With questions, please email recsports@vt.edu.

Welcome new and returning Hokie families! Below are important health reminders to share with your student:

  • Holds will be placed on accounts in October if your student has not completed their immunization history form requirement. Your student will not be able to take advantage of early registration for spring 2021 classes if a hold is placed on their account. Students with incomplete records will receive regular emails to their VT account until their immunizations are complete. Students should check their records online through the Online Student Health Portal.  The student may also call Schiffert Health Center Medical Records at 540-231-8104, inquire about the nature of the hold, and ask for a list of required immunizations or tests. For further information, contact Phyllis Smith at 540-231-5313 or smithpj@vt.edu.  You can find more details about medical holds on student schedules on our website.
  • Schiffert Health Center strongly encourages your student to have the following self-care items for common medical conditions: antibiotic ointment, antiseptic, Band-Aids, antacid, cough syrup, sunscreen, bug bite remedies, cold medicine (antihistamines and decongestants), ibuprofen, and Tylenol. Tweezers are helpful for splinter removal and Benadryl for allergic reactions. A copy of the student’s personal insurance card, a digital thermometer, an extra pair of glasses (especially if contacts are worn), and a full semester supply of any long-term medications are very important. Make sure you student knows their medical history. They should be aware of specific allergies and any adverse reactions to medications. They should also know chronic conditions and what medications they take, including doses.

With the fall semester soon approaching, Hokie Wellness is ready to support the community, both on and off-campus, to maintain an environment that promotes safety and allows students to fully engage in learning (virtual or in-person) while experiencing the Virginia Tech feeling of “this is HOME”. In addition to being fully open and operational in providing prevention programs and support services, Hokie Wellness will be instrumental in the distribution plan of face coverings for students.

This fall looks very different than any other semester we’ve had, and preparation is key for students to mitigate risk and be able to safely navigate the community. To accomplish this, Virginia Tech is asking that all students bring their own face coverings with them to campus. Cloth face coverings are effective in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through respiratory droplets, and are reusable. In addition to any supplies a student may bring with them, Hokie Wellness will oversee the distribution of kits to all on-campus students that will contain two reusable face coverings and other supplies.

Additionally, our off-campus community is vitally important in reducing community spread. To support our off-campus students, Hokie Wellness will oversee the distribution of face coverings on August 24th and 25th from 7:30am-6:30pm in pop-up tents at several prominent locations. Signage will be utilized to direct off-campus students to these campus spaces:

  • New Classroom Building Area
  • Turner/McBryde Area
  • McComas Front Lawn Area (near bus stop on Washington)
  • In front of War Memorial Hall
  • Squires/Library Area

These areas will be managed by staff and student volunteers from Hokie Wellness and Student Affairs, who will also be following all safety protocols for the distribution.

Finally, an additional 20,000 one-time use face coverings will be available for distribution in high-traffic areas of campus so that no student will be turned away from services for forgetting their covering.

Students may contact Hokie Wellness at hokiewellness@vt.edu with questions regarding distribution or to schedule arrangements for picking-up face coverings.

Hokie Wellness’ regular services will continue to support students’ health and well-being after this initial distribution and we encourage families to talk to their students about utilizing our workshops, outreach, and one-on-one sessions on these topics, and more:

  • Mental Health & Resiliency
  • Financial Wellness
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Sexual Health
  • Body Image
  • Mindful Media Use
  • Alcohol, Other Substances, and Recovery

Please explore our resources and services at hokiewellness.vt.edu, or contact us at any time for assistance in accessing support: (540) 231-2233 or at hokiewellness@vt.edu.