Safety protocols

We each have roles and responsibilities to promote safety in our learning, work and living environments. This page highlights the resources provided as well as the safety protocols in place.

Resources provided by the university

Fostering the safety of our students, faculty and staff takes a team effort. Each of us has a role to play in protecting the well-being of our community.

The university will provide resources including:

  • Supply kits for on-campus students and employees that include washable cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray
  • Facilities cleaned at an increased schedule with focus on high-touch surfaces in common areas
  • Cleaning supplies will be available in numerous locations
  • Hands-free temperature screening stations
  • Website and/or app for daily health monitoring
  • Required training for students, employees and managers
  • Communications campaign and signage with a focus on responsibility of students and employees
  • Guidance for managers and employees on telework, leave and resources

Forgot your mask? Locations throughout campus will have disposable masks available. Please check this spreadsheet for locations and times.


Public Health Response Team

VCU formed a Public Health Response Team to carry out the following activities:

  • Monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 in the VCU community and develop protocols for response to rise in incidence rate
  • Develop protocols for call center operations and contact tracing team
  • Manage response to local outbreaks of COVID-19
  • Make recommendations to VCU administration regarding local and general closure

Response team members

  • Tom Briggs, Assistant Vice President for Safety and Risk Management, (co-chair) 
  • Scott Strayer, Department Chair and Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, (co-chair) 
  • Tilahun Adera, Division Chair and Professor, Division of Epidemiology 
  • Gonzalo Bearman, Richard P. Wenzel Professor of Medicine Chair, Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Epidemiologist 
  • Mike Cimis, Director of Environmental Health and Safety 
  • Jeff Collins, Director of Sports Medicine 
  • Lori Dachille, Director of Emergency Preparedness
  • Alex H. Krist, Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Population Health 
  • Anton Kuzel, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
  • Mike Porter, Associate Vice President for University Public Affairs 
  • Gavin Roark, Director of Residential Life and Housing 
  • Margaret Roberson, Director of VCU Student Health Services 
  • Susan D. Roseff, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Pathology, Vice Chair, Division of Clinical Pathology 
  • Frank Tortorella, Director of Employee Health Services 
  • Suzie Weaver, Executive Director of the Life Safety Office at VCU Health

Testing and screening procedures

Testing for the prevalence of COVID-19 in the VCU community will be conducted throughout the year to monitor the health of our community. This data will help identify trends and outbreaks, and to inform our actions going forward.

To volunteer for prevalence testing, fill out the online form at Participants will receive a viral, oropharyngeal (throat) swab test, not the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab in the nose. If you are selected to participate in prevalence testing, VCU will contact you with details about how to participate and receive your test results. Because the sample population for prevalence testing will change daily to ensure those tested are representative of the VCU community as a whole, we need as many faculty, staff and non-residential students as possible to opt into the pool.

Prevalence testing requires VCU to test a sample of the VCU community – approximately five percent of residential students and approximately two percent of non-residential students and employees. Residential students are automatically enrolled in prevalence testing, however non-residential students and employees must opt-in (residential students are also required to participate in COVID-19 testing prior to move-in).

Daily health checks

Prevalence testing will be offered in addition to COVID-19 tests for those experiencing symptoms, which will also be provided at no cost to students and employees. Students and employees are required to monitor their health daily by completing a short survey online each day. Students and employees can access the survey either through their email or by logging into the following website: