Here’s why Virginia Tech likely saw a jump in coronavirus cases this week

157 new cases in a week, brings university total to 178

BLACKSBURG, Va. – While Virginia Tech reported a large jump in coronavirus cases, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given who’s being tested.

On Monday, the university updated its COVID-19 dashboard after a week of testing students and staff members who were symptomatic or had an increased risk of exposure, according to the university.

In the past week, 157 new cases were reported from 1,012 tests given, equating to a 15.5% positivity rate.

Since testing began on-campus, 10,053 tests were administered and the overall positivity rate is now 1.8%.

Tests were given to all on-campus students when they moved in for the first two weeks of testing, starting the week of Aug. 16. For the past week, tests were only given to students and staff members who showed symptoms or were at a high risk of exposure.

“We’re able to manage effectively the cases that we have. Clearly the key is we don’t want to see growth in cases. We want to see those numbers drop,” university spokesperson Mark Owczarski said. “Public health officials have been telling us for six months that we can expect this and it’s happening right now.”

Owczarski wouldn’t say whether Virginia Tech is considering a move to all online learning but did say the university keeping a close eye on the numbers and it’s prepared.

“I think anybody in a pandemic testing positive is concerning but we had to plan for that and that’s what the university along with our community health partners have been doing since March,” Owczarski said.

Originally, the university planned to update its coronavirus dashboard every Monday but officials now say it will be updated on a more regular basis.

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