Virginia Tech reports 238 new COVID-19 cases among students, staff for the week

Coronavirus

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — In the latest COVID-19 dashboard update on Friday, Virginia Tech officials reported 238 new COVID-19 cases — approximately 19.8% of the 1,204 tests submitted — since Sunday.

According to Virginia Tech’s COVID-19 dashboard, the university has seen a total of 416 positive tests since Aug. 9, which is approximately 3.7% of the 11,257 tests submitted in total.

Winston Agbara a Freshman at Virginia Tech stated he had no idea how high the positive test rate was. He now has a grim outlook on the future of his classes this year, “I suspect things are either all going to move online, or we’re just going to get shut down like a lot of schools have.”

He said while many on-campus are following the rules, off-campus it’s a different story, “It kind of has to be followed or else you get punished, but off-campus it’s definitely different, people are definitely hanging out and doing their thing.”

As of Friday, Sept. 4, more than 75 on-campus students are in campus isolation spaces.

Mark Owczarski, the Assistant Vice President of University Relations said this is not unexpected, “As of today, 84 students in isolation space in isolation space in our campus residence halls.  Isolated, they’re being fed, they’re being monitored by health care practitioners at Schiffert Health Center, they are being seen if they need additional medical assistance. All of that, that’s one factor.”

(Photo: Courtesy Virginia Tech)

Virginia Tech officials say they use additional tools to monitor the availability of on-campus quarantine and isolation spaces; the availability of hospital capacity; and the status of the pandemic around the state, the country, and the world.

Any decisions about proceeding with in-person classes and on-campus activities will depend on the assessment of health officials and Virginia Tech students and staff members’ compliance with campus health and safety protocols, according to the university.

The university plans to begin updating its online dashboard daily and post a seven-day moving average so that users can track positivity rate and compare the number of new cases daily and weekly.

“That gave us confidence that the students moving onto campus started with a new slate,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said. “A one-day test doesn’t have lasting meaning. It’s just a snapshot. It shows us that our incoming students were listening to the messages about quarantining before they came, about watching for symptoms and being careful, and that makes us feel quite good.”

The university now is shifting its testing profile to prioritize those who are symptomatic and have a high contact role.

According to the Virginia Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard Friday update, more than 100 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Montgomery County since Thursday, Sept. 3.

The next COVID-19 dashboard update is slated for Tuesday, Sept. 8.

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