To the university community,

This week we began random prevalence testing for our undergraduate student population to provide a more accurate assessment of the status and trajectory of COVID-19 on campus and within our off-campus student population. Current testing data indicate the rate of new infections is moving in the right direction. Thank you for supporting our efforts, and please continue following science-based public health practices that limit the spread of COVID-19.  

The next phase of our testing plan is focused on the health and safety of individuals in high-contact situations. These employees and students, due to the nature of their jobs or academic responsibilities, have a higher level of interaction with the public or each other and may at times be unable to maintain the recommended physical distancing.

Testing of high-contact employees and students on our Blacksburg campus begins on Oct. 5 through the surveillance testing clinic. The frequency and number of tests will depend on overall testing capacity, with the goal of testing the entire high-contact population (about 1,100 individuals) every two or three weeks. These tests must be mandatory in order to effectively protect employees and students whose responsibilities involve a greater opportunity to have contact with other individuals.

Surveillance testing is also available, but not mandatory, for faculty and staff in Blacksburg, our Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke, and Virginia Tech locations in the greater metro Washington, D.C., area.   

Once again, thank you for adhering to the public health measures that are limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the disease that it causes. Please continue to wear face coverings, maintain physical distance when around those not in your “pod,” and avoid crowds and interior spaces with poor ventilation. It makes a difference for all of us.

Be committed. Be well.          

Tim Sands,


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