Radford sees a spike in cases, Radford University amends gathering size to 10 people

Colleges and university across the country are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 8:48 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - In one day the number of COVID-19 cases for the city of Radford has increased by 22.

Tuesday morning, Radford University updated its COVID-19 dashboard.

Monday, the numbers reflected that on campus, 1,470 COVID-19 tests had been administered. Of those tests, there was a .75 percent positivity rate, which means around 11 students tested positive. The numbers posted Tuesday showed 1,705 tests had been administered and that the university now has a a 5.75 percent positivity rate, meaning around 98 students have tested positive.

“When we reopened campus, we knew that we were going to have positive cases, that’s why we have a robust plan in place,” said associate president of university relations, Caitlyn Scaggs.

While the jump on the dashboard is significant, Scaggs says it represents the increase for the last week.

During a weekly briefing Tuesday morning with Dr. Molly O’Dell of the Virginia Department of Health, who was joined by Dr. Noelle Bissell with the New River Health District, we asked more specifics about the cases.

“In general I’ll tell you the students who are positive, are minimum to non-symptomatic,” said Dr. Bissell.

But the numbers still show more than half of Radford City’s cases are Radford University students.

“We have a daily symptom tracker in place that it is an expectation and a requirement that it’s filled out every single day,” said Scaggs.

Throughout the course of the day, WDBJ7 received dozens of calls and emails from students and parents with lists of concerns and questions about what Radford was planning to do in response.

“We are still fully committed to maintaining an on-campus operation; we need every student to their part, but that’s how we intend to finish out the semester. It’s just dependent on everyone doing their part to make it a possibility,” said Scaggs.

The reopening plan remains the same; however, President Hemphill made the decision to decrease the max number of students allowed in a gathering on campus at one time to 10. Scaggs also added there are plenty of options for housing for students who do test positive, and meals will be delivered to those students.

The COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated again next Tuesday.

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