UA sees first rise in COVID-19 cases in five weeks

UA+sees+first+rise+in+COVID-19+cases+in+five+weeks

Carson Redwine

Kelby Hutchison | @thetallcwrepor1, Contributing Writer

The UA System COVID-19 dashboard showed the first rise in cases in five weeks on Friday. Cases nearly doubled among students from last week’s 24 reported cases to 45 reported cases, bringing the total to 2,578 positive cases reported among students this year. Sentinel testing has increased for the second straight week, now reaching 531 tests given to the asymptomatic portion of the student body, faculty and staff.

This increase in cases comes less than a week after the first home football game of the season against the Texas A&M Aggies.

While sentinel testing is on the rise from the 371 tests provided two weeks prior, it still falls short of the University’s newly stated goal of testing 3% of the student body, according to a UA news release. Originally the goal of sentinel testing was to test a range of 3-5% of the University population who are not presenting symptoms. Of the 531 tests given, four people tested positive for COVID-19. 

The dashboard does not include the total number of tests given to students, faculty and staff each week. The Crimson White has requested this information through open record statutes in accordance with Alabama state law.

Isolation room availability has increased to 518 from last week’s 486 rooms. Five (0.97%) of those rooms are currently in use by COVID-19-positive students.

Faculty and staff positive cases have risen by one case this week to 10. This brings the total to 85 positive cases among staff since the beginning of the school year and 261 for the year overall. 

The Student Health Center will be open this weekend from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 and Sunday Oct. 11 for COVID-19 testing of symptomatic students. Students can register to be included in the random sampling of sentinel tests by signing up at healthy.verily.com and using their crimson email account.