RICHMOND, Va. -- More than 550 people have tested positive for the coronavirus at colleges and universities in Virginia.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Thursday that it surveyed 41 four-year colleges across the state.
It found at least 558 positive cases. Twenty-one colleges reported at least one positive case.
Some schools say positive cases were inevitable and that they are prepared to handle them.
Other universities across the country have backtracked on plans to allow students on campus.
The New York Times said that there are more than 26,000 cases and 64 deaths at colleges around the nation.
No school in Virginia has reported a death from the virus.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.