VSU Invests $2.8 Million to Make COVID-19 Health and Safety Changes and Upgrades

VSU students return to campus for on-campus living and learning. 

VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY, VA Virginia State University has invested $2.8 million in health and safety upgrades to safely welcome students, faculty, and staff back to campus.  

The new and improved measures are part of the Spring 2021 Reopening Plan for VSU. Classes will begin on February 1, 2021. VSU students will begin repopulating campus on Friday, January 15 in a staggered check in process that will include rapid testing for COVID-19.  Rapid test results will be known immediately. Any student who tests positive will be given the option to return home or quarantine in a predetermined space on campus. Students will have access to free COVID testing throughout the semester. In addition, the University will conduct random monthly tests. 

The University is deploying several strategies to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus on campus including enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to faculty, staff and students, and implementing infrastructure technology to improve air quality.     

Measures to improve air quality focus on robust preventive maintenance, humidity control and increasing ventilation and filtration.  Air conditioning units in the historic residence halls have been equipped with bi-polar ionization devices to remove allergens in the air and break down unhealthy bacteria and mold in student rooms.  In order to deploy bi-polar ionization, 311 new units with these devices were purchased and installed and another 154 units were retrofitted.  Where possible, central air conditioning systems have been equipped with high efficiency filters and have been set to deliver more fresh air.  All supply, return and exhaust equipment, registers and ductwork have been cleaned and sealed in 15 campus buildings.   

In-room filtration has been provided in rooms that have minimal ventilation or fresh air. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) purifiers equipped with Ultraviolet light to kill germs and Dry Hydrogen Peroxide disinfecting devices have been installed in these areas.  Fixed dehumidifiers have been purchased to address humid and damp areas on campus.  This inventory includes 315 in wall/wall hung units and 18 above the ceiling units.   

The automatic temperature kiosks will be located in every occupied residence hall and in academic, student life, and administrative facilities. The temperature kiosks will be used as an integral part of our monitoring process to identify individuals and facilities which may warrant additional preventive care measures. The temperature kiosks will alert and help individuals make informed decisions pertaining to their health status. Individuals with elevated temperatures will be directed to Student Heath or advised to see their personal health care provider for further evaluation. The aggregate information will be used to identify high risk locations, to inform preventive measures and support contact tracing. 

VSU is offering a hybrid approach to learning for Spring 2021. Remote and face-to-face classes will begin on February 1st