As College Students Return to Campus, COVID-19 Cases Spike
Here’s a brief overview of coronavirus cases at institutions of higher education.
The University of Southern California (USC) is reporting “an alarming increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in students” who live in off-campus residences.
A letter to students, which was sent on Monday only a week after the fall semester began, said 14 cases have been identified through asymptomatic population testing, and 29 cases have been identified through USC Student Health contact tracing and testing of symptomatic and exposed individuals. All cases are related to students who live off-campus. So far, no students have been hospitalized.
More than 100 students are now in a 14-day quarantine due to exposures.
“For students who remain on or near campus in shared living arrangements, we strongly advise you to act with caution and strictly follow all guidelines for physical distancing (6 ft.), avoiding gatherings with others outside your home, wearing face coverings around others to protect against respiratory droplets, and proceed with high adherence to hand hygiene and frequent surface contact cleaning,” the letter said.
USC is also strongly recommending that students who live in the vicinity of the campus and especially those with roommates should test weekly through the school’s Pop Testing program.
Meanwhile, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the University of Alabama (UA) has recorded 531 total coronavirus cases, with 566 cumulative positives in the UA system as of August 19.
Last week, Auburn University reported 207 new cases. That’s five times more than what was reported the previous week.
In Mount Pleasant, Michigan, coronavirus cases doubled at Central Michigan University (CMU) over the weekend, according to BridgeMI. The number of cases rose from 38 on Friday to 75 on Monday. Classes began at CMU on August 17.
At the University of Missouri, when the fall semester began on Monday, more than 150 students tested positive for COVID-19, reports Kansascity.com.
The New York Times has just released its database of college campus COVID-19 outbreaks, which can be seen here.