(Message from Tech president Tim Sands yesterday) After an initial surge in positive cases following the move-in period, all indications are that the rate of new infections has subsided at Virginia Tech and in Montgomery County. This is not a time to let our attention wane. There is much more work to be done to suppress the spread of COVID-19 so that we can incrementally advance toward a more normal semester.
Starting Monday, Sept. 21, the university will increase student testing with 2000 open testing appointments each week. A portion of this additional testing will be dedicated to mandatory random prevalence testing for all undergraduate students in Blacksburg. Mandatory random prevalence testing will allow monitoring of the status of COVID-19 on campus and in Blacksburg with a statistically significant sample of the entire undergraduate population. Students selected for a given week will be notified beginning on the prior Wednesday and provided instructions for making an appointment to be tested during the coming week.
Mandatory random prevalence testing is just one tool that we are employing to monitor and manage COVID-19 on our Blacksburg campus. We continue to perform diagnostic testing of students for those with symptoms and those who have been identified by contact tracing. In addition, we are regularly testing employees, including undergraduate and graduate student employees, who fall into higher contact categories as determined by the degree of contact with others in the course of their jobs on campus.