Three Bluefield College employees tests positive for COVID-19

BLUEFIELD, VA (WOAY) – Three Bluefield College employees have tested positive for COVID-19, putting into effect the COVID-19 response protocols established by the College earlier this year.

Bluefield College’s plan for resuming in-class instruction, which contain its response protocols, were recently approved by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia in accordance with orders from the Governor’s office for reopening campuses to students. As part of those response protocols, Bluefield College purchased a rapid testing machine to be able to quickly identify cases on campus that could occur during the year.

Two employees contacted Bluefield College leadership at separate times last week with reason to believe they had been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. The individuals self-quarantined awaiting the results of their test. Upon receiving positive results, coworkers who could have had contact with the individuals were immediately notified and self-quarantined.

College health officials administered rapid tests to each employee, of which only one other positive case was identified. This individual resides with one of the initial positive case individuals. Virginia Department of Health officials were immediately contacted per College protocols, to begin contact tracing and other response work. In accordance with response protocols, Bluefield College then thoroughly cleaned and sanitized any potentially affected areas on campus.

“First, our prayers continue to be with anyone and their families as they deal with this virus,” said Bluefield College President Dr. David Olive. “As the virus continues to affect every community in our country, proper plans and partnering with health officials will help us have a measured response to isolated incidents, like this, and be prepared for larger incidents should they occur.”

Bluefield College response plans and communications can be found at: www.bluefield.edu/covid-19. Up-to-date information on Virginia coronavirus cases can also be found from the Virginia Department of Health at: www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com