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Virginia Tech sees a rise in COVID positivity rate, plans to double prevalence testing

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 5:33 PM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Tech’s president said in a recent letter to the community, there will be another effort to Increase testing and people should assume the COVID-19 variant is present.

This is as the positivity rate on campus becomes a concern.

“Last fall, we would have started to see the downward curve and we haven’t seen that yet.”

“Cases in the district is down. We still do have community spread,“ said Dr. Noelle Bissell, the director of the New River Health District.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases at Virginia Tech has gone up.

“And that is concerning, and we need to reverse that trend right now,” said Mark Owczarski, the Assistant Vice President for University Relations at Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech President Dr. Tim Sands said in a recent letter the campus community cannot let their guard down and the “variant, which we should assume is present in our community.”

Dr. Bissell says they don’t have any evidence of the variant in the area at this point.

“Can I tell you that we don’t have a variant in the area? No. We do know that the variants have been found in parts of the state,” said Bissell.

Virginia Tech’s spokesperson says the president’s message was to remind the campus community to remain vigilant against COVID-19.

“The advice gets refined and better, but the advice remains the same. We have got to find a way to bring down the number of cases within our community,” said Owczarski.

According to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard, in the last 7 days they’ve seen 175 positive cases.

Owczarski says the university is increasing its testing efforts and reminding the campus community to continue to follow state and local COVID-19 guidelines.

“We have got to find a way to bring down the number of cases within our community, we have the capacity to increase our testing, because of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute,” said Owczarski. “They have the capacity to do more tests and we are going to take advantage of that opportunity, so that we could more closely monitor the health of our community.”

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