Of the 1,204 tests conducted through Schiffert Health Center, 238 Virginia Tech students and employees tested positive for COVID-19 between Aug. 30 and Sept. 4. This translates into a 19.8% positivity rate for this week’s testing and raises Virginia Tech’s overall positivity rate to 3.7%.
This is the first time the dashboard has been updated since Virginia Tech said on Monday that it would be updated more frequently. With the Sept. 4 update Virginia Tech has stated that it “will begin to update the dashboard each weekday before noon in order to provide more current and actionable information to the community,” starting Sept. 8.
During the Sept. 3 town hall, President Tim Sands and Dr. Noelle Bissell, director of the New River Health District warned that daily reports of case numbers do not give the most accurate picture of how the pandemic is panning out.
The university has said that in addition to looking at the amount of positive cases, metrics such as the availability of campus quarantine and isolation space, local data, and local hospitality availability are considered.
Dr. Bissell also said that the university and health department expected to see an increase in cases, but was confident they would trend down.
“This disease is transmitted in place of higher population density,” said Bissell. “It’s not unexpected that when we bring a large population into our community that we see a large increasing transmission.”
According to Virginia Health department data, Montgomery has 106 new cases as of Sept. 4 and a cumulative of 766 positive cases.
Dr. Bissell cites Radford University as an example of the rate of new positive cases rapidly increasing then eventually decreasing. As of now , Virginia Department of Health data does show a drop in new cases in Radford. There were 68 new cases on Sept. 1 and 23 on Sept. 4.
Dr. Bissell and President Sands said Virginia Tech is a week behind Radford University as they started school sooner than Virginia Tech.
“The experience of Radford where they’re a little bit ahead of us is really helping us,”President Sands said during the Sept. 3 Town Hall. “Everything that (Radford) saw, we’re seeing now. Almost every move they made, we’re doing now. I’m hopeful that the trends are good.”