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Universities continue quarantine, testing protocols, as semester continues




Mathematical Sciences Building at Bowling Green State University (Photo by Anthony Crider)

Some public colleges throughout the state are balancing staying open with being part of high-incidence counties in the state. Random sampling and other testing methods continue as higher education edges closer to the end of the semester.

At Ohio University, three residence halls have dealt with increased cases, causing the relocation of students.

“The increasing numbers of COVID cases we are seeing in our residence halls should serve as a wake-up call to our students,” said OU President Duane Nellis in a statement. “Now more than ever, we need to follow necessary health practices to keep our community safe, protect our own families and friends, and ensure business continuity.”

OhioHealth is operating a COVID-19 response hotline through OU, which can refer students and staff for testing if they meet the criteria. Asymptomatic testing is happening at OU as well, but only at the Athens campus.

After calling the hotline, 994 Athens students were tested, and 492 tested positive. As of Tuesday, 81 results were still pending. Employees had 82 tests conducted with five positive results, and six still pending.

Of those students living in off-campus housing, 43 students were quarantined due to possible exposure. Currently, 66 students are living in on-campus quarantine space.

Of the 192 students living in residence halls that were tested, 124 were positive and 15 are still awaiting results.

Athens campus asymptomatic testing, which combines tests for students and employees, shows 2,959 tests have been conducted since Sept. 21, with 217 testing positive.

On Ohio State University’s campus, 147,382 tests have been run on students since Aug. 14, with 3,279 positive results. The seven-day moving average for student cases has hovered at 0.8% since Oct. 8, but the university is avoiding making generalizations based on the data.

“The university cautions against drawing broad conclusions from the initial data about the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus, particularly because the data set includes symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals,” the university said on its website.

The University of Cincinnati has seen a seven-day moving average of 9 cases per day, with 676 positive student cases since Aug. 17. Of those cases, 206 were in UC housing.

Currently, 11 students are in isolation, and 21 are quarantined.

The test results come from a weekly random sampling of student populations, according to the university.

“Positive test results may come as a result of symptomatic or exposure testing as well as random sample surveillance testing performed by UC or by other providers, e.g., municipal health department,” the university stated in its results.

Campus members are required to self-report positive test results using a COVID-19 checking app.

Bowling Green State University has seen 483 cumulative cases, 474 of which were students, since Aug. 20. Most recently, 16 students and three staff reported positive cases to the university between Oct. 7 and 13.

Miami University estimates they have had 380 active cases in the last 14 days, with 2,175 cumulative positive cases since Aug. 17.

Kent State University reported a total of 282 cases since July 7, with 63 cases as of Oct. 11. The fact that Portage County has been upgraded from a Level 2 to a Level 3 on the state’s public health advisory system did not change the Kent Campus’ safety measures.

“We will stay the course with the safety measures until further notice,” the university stated in sharing the most recent data.

As of Monday, Wright State University had 22 active student cases, with a total of 54 cases reported on the Dayton campus. Youngstown State saw 13 positive cases, all in students, in the week of Oct. 10, which was up from nine the week before and three the week of September 26. The most recent cases beat September’s peak of four cases, which were reported for the week of Sept. 12.

The University of Akron has seen three cases as of Oct. 8, down from 12 the week before and 10 in the week of Sept. 24. The cases were combined student, employee and contractor cases “whose positive test came within 14 days of last being on campus,” according to the data.

This story was republished from the Ohio Capital Journal under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here.

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