VT lays out coronavirus testing plans for students in the fall

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 2:43 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - We are less than two months away from the start of classes at Virginia Tech, and the university has a robust plan in place for when students return to campus.

“It has a lot of provisions, it has a lot of abilities to adapt to certain situations. We hope we’ll never have to use some of these elements of the plan,” said Mark Owczarski, Virginia Tech’s Assistant Vice-President for University Relations.

All students are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.

All 9,100 students living on campus will be tested when they move in.

Students living off campus are asked to get tested within five days of returning to Blacksburg.

Tests will continue throughout the semester - prioritized for traveling athletes and students who work in high-contact jobs in places like libraries and dining halls.

“Our student health center will have the capability of doing approximately 100 to 200 tests per day, every day, while students are here,” said Owczarski.

Students who test positive will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Those living on campus will be moved into New Hall West in rooms with private bathrooms. Food will be delivered and they will take their classes all online to limit contact.

“We’re keeping these resources available in the event that we need them,” said Owczarski.

University leadership has also developed a case management team that will work with the Department of Health and the New River Health District to complete contact tracing for anyone at Tech who tests positive for COVID-19.

“We can quickly identify, communicate with and take whatever measures are necessary to keep our community at large safe,” said Owczarski.

Students will move into on-campus housing between August 14 and the 23rd. That’s when they will be able to get tested at student health.

The first day of classes will be August 24.

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