Virginia Tech ramps up COVID-19 precautions as cases rise

Growing concerns over new COVID-19 variants among the Tech community are increasing

BLACKSBURG, Va – Concerns over new COVID-19 variants have Virginia Tech stepping up testing and asking the campus to prevent community spread.

Just over a month into the spring semester, Virginia Tech President, Tim Sands, is calling on his students and staff to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“As of right now, the numbers at Virginia Tech are not trending in a good way, they are going up,” university spokesperson Mark Owczarski said.

The concerns are also increasing the prevalence of testing among students and staff members.

The announcement comes just one day after the University of Virginia started implementing strict guidelines banning all in-person events.

“As it relates to the variant, we know that the variant is in the Commonwealth, we know that other colleges and universities, similar to size of Virginia Tech have seen the variant we have not have, we have no confirmation that the variant is here,” Owczarski said.

According to New River Health Director Noelle Bissell, most of the New River Valley’s COVID-19 testing goes to the Fralin Biomedical Institute.

For now, there are no signs of a new variant in the region but that could change.

“We do send periodic specimens to DCLS, and they do kind of some surveillance, looking for the variants, so not every sample that gets sent gets sequenced, but we do some surveillance looking for that.” New River Health Director Dr. Noelle Bissell said.

And as the semester continues, university officials say they are doing everything they can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and hopefully return to normal.

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