‘That’s just a recipe for disaster’: Local colleges, universities plan for COVID-19 screening, testing

Before students return to campus this fall, colleges and universities across Virginia are working out how to screen for COVID-19 and continue to test throughout the year.

On Thursday, Randolph College announced all classes for the fall semester will be online only.

President Brad Bateman said that the school had to make the decision because of the lack of testing options for anyone who may be asymptomatic.

“We’ve have responsibilities to the students, to the faculty, to the staff. We’ve also got responsiblity to Lynchburg,” said Bateman. “If somebody gets COVID, you’ve got to wait until they’ve got two or three symptoms before you can get a test for them and then you’ve got to wait seven or eight days to get the test back. That means the person has been spreading, if they’re sick, they’ve been spreading for two to three weeks by that point and that’s just a recipe for disaster.”

Other universities are still on course for in-person instruction with extra precautions.

Hollins University is planning self-health screenings before arrival, delaying students’ return to campus if they’re symptomatic, extending the number of move-in days to increase social distancing and testing all symptomatic students.

In a statement, a university spokesperson told 10 News that Carilion Clinic manages and staffs the Student Health and Counseling Center who “will be handling all symptomatic testing for students and maintaining testing supplies and equipment. The VA Department of Health will be responsible for contact tracing and any further testing resulting from that process.”

Virginia Tech is planning initial and ongoing COVID-19 screenings for students and employees through daily health surveys and testing.

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