BLACKSBURG, Va. – The coronavirus case count at Virginia Tech continues to grow.
On Friday, the university updated its COVID-19 dashboard, announcing that from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4, 238 new positive coronavirus tests have been performed on campus.
Those tests make up nearly 20% of the 966 cases performed since the last dashboard update posted Aug. 30.
The university was previously only updating this information weekly but announced their plan to provide more updates starting next week.
In total, the university has reported 416 cases, with an overall 3.7% positivite rate among the 11,257 tests.
University spokesperson Mark Owczarski said Virginia Tech has anticipated a rise in cases.
“It is not unexpected that the number of cases has gone up with the increase in population,” Owczarski said. “Our plans are in place such that these numbers are at a place where we can manage them.”
New River Health District director Dr. Noelle Bissell said Thursday that she expects a short-term increase in COVID-19 cases on Virginia Tech’s campus.
“We have people coming into more dense living settings and some more socialization, so it’s not at all unexpected,” Bissell said. “Cases will start to go up, and they went up significantly, but at Radford they are starting to trail off just as significantly.”
Seniors Charles Frazier and Natalia Pentecost have noticed the rise in coronavirus cases. They hope newer Hokies can adjust to the changes and stay safe.
“To be honest, I think I’d be a little reckless if I was a freshman, especially coming to a brand new campus away from home,” Pentecost said.
“Before COVID-19, Virginia Tech just kind of felt more like a big family,” Frazier added. “Now, with the social distancing and everything being online, you feel farther away from everyone.”
Virginia Tech’s prevention plans include social distance signs around campus and isolated spaces for COVID-positive students.
“We’re below 50 percent in our isolation center capacity right now, actually closer to 40 percent,” Owczarski said.
However, the university’s strongest suggestion is encouraging students not to leave Blacksburg for Labor Day Weekend.
“The key is to be committed and be well, every single one of us,” Owczarski said. “At the end of the day, the goal is to keep the community at large as healthy as possible.”