NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. (WFXR) — It’s been three years since the worst of Covid-19. President Joe Biden announced the end of the pandemic in September of last year. That, however, does not mean cases have entirely stopped in the U.S.

Reports show numbers are slowly starting to rise again, as schools and universities return to the classroom. Jason Deese with the New River Health District says, within the past few days, the number of COVID cases has gone from single to double digits.

“When the universities get back together and get back into session…And grade schools get back into session, we probably will see a trend,” said Deese, District Epidemiologist for New River Health District. “Young, generally healthy people are less prone to get tested for COVID nowadays or doing home tests and not reporting it.”

Deese says nonreporting can make statistics of those contracting the disease– not wholly accurate. However, he does expect cases to peak until early September. Also, expected this time of year is the flu. Influenza shares many symptoms with COVID-19, making it difficult to tell the two apart. Deese says, at the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter.

“Regardless of what the specific virus is that’s making you sick, you should stay home at least 24 hours after your fever has gone down without the help of medications,” said Deese.

And just like the experts, schools in the area are urging students to stay safe.

“Teachers, researchers…People is our primary capital and our asset,” said Mark Owczarski, a Virginia Tech spokesman. “And so maintaining and preserving one’s health facilitates all that.”

Owczarski says tech has signs in restrooms urging students to wash their hands, hand sanitizer stations outside of classroom doors, and sick days for both students and faculty.

WFXR’s also reached out to Roanoke College about what they are urging its students. Roanoke College replied saying:

Roanoke College’s primary goal is always to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We continue to closely monitor conditions and follow CDC guidelines. The college also provides updates and support, including free COVID-19 tests, to our campus community throughout the year.

Roanoke College Director of Public Relations Teresa Gereaux

While experts say a rise in Covid cases can be expected, a rise in hospitalizations has yet to be seen. For more updated information on the number of cases in our area, visit the VDH website.