New River Valley seeing a decrease in new coronavirus cases

Radford University has only had two new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days

RADFORD, Va – As the number of active COVID-19 cases in the New River Valley continues to drop, the Virginia Department of Health is asking people to continue being vigilant in preventing the spread of the virus.

In the last seven days, Radford University has only had two new cases, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard.

“This week we tested 271 individuals with only two positive cases,” said university spokesperson Caitlyn Scaggs.

Just one month ago, the city of Radford was considered one of the largest COVID-19 hot spots in the country, but Scaggs said the decrease in positive cases paints a picture of a student body focusing on health.

“That’s reflective of less students presenting with symptoms or close contact, that is also reflective of an overall healthier student body,” explained Scaggs.

But New River Health District Director Dr. Noelle Bissell said the community can’t let up.

“We cannot get complacent because we don’t want to see a rise in cases from getting too complacent, so we have to continue to practice all those precautions,” Bissell said.

She also said that while Radford and Virginia Tech students played a big role in COVID-19 in the New River Valley, they didn’t play the only role.

“College students did spread COVID-19 in their social circles, but they didn’t spread it in the greater community. We also did find that we have spread in the community from community events,” Bissell said.

With the end of the fall semester just around the corner, Bissell said college students who may be considering going home for the holidays need to take extra precautions when it comes to preventing another spike in COVID-19 cases.

“I think it’s really important for people to look at risks as far as what they plan to do for the holidays as far as getting together and congregating, we know that this is spread when people have close social contact,” Bissell said.

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