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Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities and COVID-19

photo grid of housekeeping team members from Virginia Tech Facilities

In strong alignment with the principles guiding the university towards an increased on-campus presence this fall, Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness across all of its campus facilities.

Virginia Tech recognizes the critical role that housekeeping services plays in protecting human health by preventing transmission of infectious diseases — and in many instances — the role it plays as the first line of defense against the spread of infectious agents. 

 

Facilities FAQs - Cleaning, Sanitizer, and More

In conjunction with physical distancing and personal hygiene strategies, to minimize spread and protect the most vulnerable populations, the university will employ a consistent, thorough, and deliberate cleaning process. This process includes innovation and technology to minimize high-touch points across campus sites in combination with frequent cleaning of the remaining high-touch point surfaces. Virginia Tech will manage cleaning of indoor spaces through a combination of frequent and thorough cleaning and access control, including when rooms and buildings are not occupied.

As part of Facilities Operations' standard operating procedures and practices, all common touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected using EPA-registered chemicals. Surfaces are wiped and left wet for effective dwell time.

  • Restrooms/showers: All common touch surfaces (such as knobs, handles, dispensers, push plates, switches, and receptacles) are cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day using EPA-registered chemicals as a first step in the process. Remaining restroom/shower areas are cleaned multiple times per day using EPA registered chemicals.
  • Public spaces: All common touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day using EPA registered chemicals.
  • Floors/tiles: Public areas are spot mopped daily; fully mopped weekly (with auto-scrub as needed); buffed monthly, top scrubbed, stripped, and recoated annually.
  • Floors/carpet: Public areas are spot vacuumed daily; fully vacuumed weekly; extracted annually; and interim cleaned as necessary.
  • Kitchens: Areas are cleaned and disinfected weekly using EPA-registered chemicals.

 

Housekeeping teams are a first line of defense against the spread of disease. Virginia Tech will take all necessary actions to mitigate the risks to housekeeping teams and the greater campus community and establish appropriate staffing strategies to optimize cleaning and mitigation. All staff conducting cleaning and disinfecting will be provided appropriate personal protective equipment and necessary training consistent with the use of this equipment.

Yes. High-touch items, high-volume spaces, and public areas will receive priority. As resources allow,  after these prioritized areas are addressed, individual private offices and workstations can obtain  services. As such, care for these spaces (private offices and workstations) will be shared with the user(s). Facilities Operations will continue routine floor care and will certainly respond and address emergency issues as in the past. Prioritization of resources and spaces will enable our team to provide the safest environment possible. For questions, please contact vtrepair@vt.edu or 540-231-4300.

The same stringent cleaning and disinfecting standards are applicable to all university-owned and leased buildings across the commonwealth. The main variable is in who delivers these types of services. Some non-Blacksburg locations have contracted service providers responsible for these types of functions. The university remains in continued coordination with those entities to assure consistent and effective protocols.

  • Cleaning is defined as using soap and water to remove dirt and impurities.
  • Disinfecting is defined as killing germs on a surface.
  • Routine cleaning is defined as our standard cleaning and disinfecting process.
  • Enhanced cleaning is defined as disinfecting high-touch surfaces.

 

Yes. To mitigate the potential for contamination of high touch points, over 2,000 hand sanitizer dispensers will be positioned at building entrances, exits, elevators, and classrooms. 

Over 600 new touch-free soap dispensers in building restrooms will be installed, as well as 600 new touch-free paper towel dispensers in building restrooms.

Cleaning and disinfecting products remain in short supply. As such, departmental supply requests should be directed to the Procurement Department and may be fulfilled through their COVID-19 central inventory program. Click here to learn more.

Routine cleaning of unrestricted labs will be performed on a weekly basis.

Recommended building user actions to help ensure aggregate health and safety:

  • Practice good hygiene (handwashing and cleanliness within your work setting).
  • Review, share, and monitor compliance with established university guidelines.
  • Reconfigure indoor and outdoor spaces to allow for physical distancing.
  • Assist in identifying high-use entrances and traffic areas.
  • Remove and/or clean high-touch shared tools such as break area equipment, computer keyboards, whiteboard markers, remote controls, etc.
  • Place waste receptacles in the corridor outside their office for it to be emptied and relined.
  • Utilize larger, central office waste receptacles for food waste and wet trash to control odors.
  • Assist in controlling building entry points as appropriate.
  • Comply with signage guidelines.

 

The Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities will:

  • Inspect areas around buildings for trash and debris and remove accordingly.
  • Ensure all building entrances and loading docks are clear of litter and debris.
  • Continue to mow green spaces.
  • Inspect parking lots and clear of litter and debris.
  • Maintain shrubs and flowers (in a reduced number of locations).
  • Continue tree management and care.
  • Ensure effective waste and recycling collection.

To help maximize the health and safety of the on-campus university community and reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities, and Housing and Residence Life, in close partnership with Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), continue to monitor, maintain, and optimize existing HVAC infrastructure in place across the Blacksburg campus

Please direct COVID-related health and safety issues associated with the operation of HVAC systems to EHS at VT-EHS@vt.edu or 540-231-3600.

Click here to learn more about cleaning procedures in student spacs and other helpful information.

In consultation with the Virginia Tech Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) team, we have actively monitored guidance around the topic.  Flushing of building water systems has been and will continue to be performed. Questions about a specific area? Call EHS at 540-231-3600.

FAQs - Waste/Recycling, Construction, Reconfiguring Spaces

Waste and recycling collection will continue uninterrupted; however, individual collection times and locations may be modified.  Employees should place waste receptacles in the corridor outside their office/workstation for it to be emptied and relined.  Additionally, employees should utilize larger, central office waste receptacles for food waste and wet trash to control odors.

Departments are to determine the use of their space in compliance with the university’s physical distancing guidelines.

The Facilities Department will assist customers around physical distancing practices, including decreasing density and adjusting traffic patterns. The department will:

  • Support facility space usage changes for physical distancing in accordance with established university guidelines.
  • Assist customers in evaluating reduction in capacity of spaces — e.g., decreasing chairs in a conference room, limiting furniture use, moving furniture, assessing for interim storage needs, etc
  • Coordinate the path of egress to be used for access and ensure congregation in corridors or public spaces within buildings.

If assistance is needed to reconfigure building spaces to comply with the physical distancing guidelines, requests should be conveyed online through HokieServ or by calling 540-231-4300. If furniture or fixtures are to be relocated as part of the reconfiguration, the department will be responsible for funding work and providing interim storage space for any displaced fixtures.

If you are planning on needing any installation services, please submit a  workorder request through HokieServ or by calling 540-231-4300. For leased space, follow your typical protocols for requesting assistance with a building related installation or repair.  The Real Estate team can assist if you are unsure of that protocol.

If your department would be interested in a mobile/modular customer service shield solution that doesn’t require installation, please see the list of suppliers available for buying those type of devices.  At this time, the national supply chain appears to still have inventory and choices from multiple vendors/suppliers.  The list of available suppliers can be found at the bottom of the Virginia Tech Environmental Health and Safety guidance document on shields and barriers.

If you have questions or you would like the assistance of one of the procurement buyers, please send a note to hokiemart@vt.edu.

Capital construction projects at Virginia Tech continue to advance forward. The Facilities Department is actively working with contracting partners to ensure the utmost safety and well-being of campus worksites and on-site employees. Facilities teams are working onsite in a reduced capacity to ensure integrity and safety of projects – including University Building Official, Permitting, and Procurement. Construction projects in the design and procurement phases continue to move forward but are being monitored closely for potential shifts due to ‘new normal’ conditions.

Campus units are currently being asked to prioritize discretionary funding – this includes the potential of not pursuing planned departmentally initiated and funded renovation and modification projects.

Yes. The Facilities and Procurement Departments are actively working with contracting teams to ensure the utmost safety and well-being of campus worksites and on-site employees.

Have an additional question for the Facilities Department? Please contact the department at 540-231-4300 or vtrepair@vt.edu.