Virginia Tech COVID-19 lab ready to ramp up testing for thousands of student samples
Virginia Tech’s COVID-19 Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, located at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, has processed more than 70,000 samples to support health districts across Virginia and the university community since its launch in April.
Starting next week, as students begin returning to campus for the spring semester, the lab will begin processing samples from approximately 7,400 students who are anticipated to move into on-campus housing. These student tests will be processed over a nine-day period.
The lab is also prepared to process hundreds of samples from students that are anticipated to come through the Schiffert Health Center over the next few weeks, as well as more than 500 weekly samples collected from Virginia Tech employees working in high-contact roles. The lab is also responsible for processing several thousand samples per week for the university’s rigorous surveillance testing program, and voluntary testing program available for students and employees.
“We are building on what we learned in the fall as we ramp up our testing for the spring, with emphasis on mandatory random prevalence testing of students and surveillance testing of high-contact employees,” Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said in his state of the university address today.
In addition to processing samples for Virginia Tech’s community, the lab will continue to analyze tests collected by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). In November, Virginia Tech was selected as one of the state’s three exclusive OneLab Network Tier 2 laboratories to help expand COVID-19 testing capacity across Virginia. Under the OneLab agreement, the university’s laboratory provides capacity to process up to 5,000 test samples per week. These samples are collected via VDH and come from community testing events, businesses, schools, and assisted living facilities across Virginia.
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