As Radford University’s coronavirus positivity rate nearly doubles, there is good news

Nearly 1,000 members of the university community were tested in the past week.

Radford University sign (WSLS 10)

RADFORD, Va. – For those following coronavirus numbers, it’s no surprise that Radford has emerged as a coronavirus hot spot not just in Virginia, but across the country in the past week.

On Tuesday, Radford University updated its COVID-19 Dashboard and while at a quick glance things look like they’re getting worse, that glance doesn’t tell the whole story.

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In the past week, the university reports that 924 students, faculty and staff were tested. Of those 924, 195 were positive tests, which rose the university’s overall positivity rate to 11.14% from 5.75%.

During that week, there were two different groupings of testing on campus, one done at the Student Health Center, and the other done one Aug. 28 by the university, in partnership with the New River Health District.

The testing at the health center is for symptomatic students and close contacts, while Friday’s testing did not have that same narrowed focus, according to the university.

Here’s a look of the total tests, positive tests and percent positivity when breaking down last weeks 924 tests into those two groupings:

Student Health Center testingRadford University / New River Health District testingTotals
Total Tests432492924
Positive Tests17124195
Percent Positivity39.58%4.88%21.10%

Looking at the chart above, you can see when testing is expanded to a broader group, the university community had a much lower percent positivity.

Of the 24 who tested positive on Aug. 28, 23 are students and one is a staff member, according to the university.

It remains to be seen if this trend will continue, but local public health officials advised the university that coronavirus cases have plateaued on campus and are the amount of new cases is beginning to decline.

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