Virginia Tech president talks expectations for spring semester

Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech(Virginia Tech)
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:04 AM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Tech President Tim Sands has sent an email to students detailing his expectations for the upcoming spring semester.

President Sands indicated he expects the omicron variant to drive a surge of COVID-19 cases early in the semester.

“As expected, the omicron surge is now driving record levels of COVID-19 transmission in Montgomery County and across the region. Early on-campus testing in Blacksburg is yielding high levels of positivity, even before the majority of undergraduates return to campus and the community. Our modeling, and the recent experience of other universities, predicts an increase in positive cases throughout January and into early February,” said President Sands.

The president also said the university is prepared for a shift to treating COVID-19 as an endemic disease.

“Should the omicron and subsequent variants continue to diminish in virulence, we will gradually transition toward operating under principles of individual responsibility. This means 1) self-isolating and wearing masks after testing positive or when exhibiting symptoms, and 2) choosing to wear high-quality, well-fitted masks in indoor public settings to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. The metrics that inform decisions will shift from numbers of positive tests and levels of community transmission to severity of illness, hospital admissions, and numbers of students and employees in isolation,” said President Sands.

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