The video above is from a previous report.
STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — As UConn students have moved back onto campus and begin to prepare for the fall semester, the university is testing everyone returning to Storrs for COVID-19. On Thursday, the university announced it had created a dashboard with testing numbers.
On Friday, the school announced the updated numbers, with 17 positive cases out of over 5,400 tests done on students on campus. In addition, the school announced 3 positive cases among commuter students, as well as 2 positive tests among nearly 3,000 faculty and staff members tested.
In Friday’s report, UConn announced that any cases beyond the original eight positives reported after students moved in are made up of students who have contracted the virus since moving onto campus. What that means is that COVID-19 cases in Storrs have essentially doubled since students returned to campus.
According to a statement on the positive tests, UConn says:
The five new positive cases at UConn in the last 24 hours all were students who were identified as being at increased risk due to prior potential exposure. Three cases were connected to the cluster of positive cases associated with the football team, and two had potential contacts prior to arriving to campus. These students were already under a medical quarantine, and were detected as part of an enhanced testing program for asymptomatic students at increased risk for testing positive for COVID-19 – meaning they were being tested often.UConn statement, Friday Aug 21
On Wednesday, UConn announced that several students has their on campus housing privileges revoked after what the school called an “unapproved gathering” in a residence hall after students had returned to campus.
Related: UConn revokes campus housing to several students while investigating ‘unapproved gathering’ in residence hall
Tuesday, the university reported that out of the 3,850 UConn residential students’ COVID-19 test results that have been returned, five tested positive. That is in addition to two commuter students that have also tested positive.
In a release Monday, UConn had originally reported three off-campus commuter students had tested positive for the coronavirus. But Tuesday they clarified their findings saying one commuter student previously listed as a positive result was determined to be “a ‘residual positive,’ meaning the student was infected at one time, but has medically recovered and is no longer treated as positive.”
The school says five isolation spaces are now in use for the students with positive test results.
Additionally, on Monday 25 residential students were in what the university is calling ‘medical quarantine’ in an isolation area on campus due to potential contact with students confirmed to have the virus.
In a release sent Monday, the university said that a total of 3,739 UConn residential students’ test results have been returned, with four positive cases.
Given the volume of testing we are doing, it was inevitable that there would be positive cases… Knowing this, the university has a clear and detailed strategy in place we can quickly implement to address any positives and have already done so in these cases.– Eleanor Daugherty, UConn Dean of Students
Precautionary measures taken by the university for any student who tests positive will include a deep cleaning of the student’s living spaces, in addition to notification to their small family unit cohort (most of whom were identified as ‘close contacts’ with the positive students), who will be placed on a two-week self-quarantine and retested, the university says.
Officials say the students who tested positive were told of their status and relocated to an isolation point on campus. The school reported Monday that 13 residential students are in what the university is calling ‘medical quarantine’ on campus because they came in contact with students who have tested positive for the virus.
News 8 spoke with students and parents about the new positive COVID-19 tests on campus and the university’s response.
Freshman Giancarlo Vaccaro said, “They’re doing a good job, keeping everyone distant and masks on – all the protocols are being followed, so that’s good.”
Jenna Calorossi’s family helped her move into campus. Her mom says everything was smooth and explains that, like every student moving back on to campus, Jenna was swabbed upon arrival.
The school says, for students commuting to class, they are also provided a test.
Sophomore Sarah Adlassnig told News 8, “I feel safe. I feel comfortable. And I’m really happy to be here.”
All students living on campus will now quarantine for 14 days on campus until classes start on Aug. 31. During that time, they will have to submit a daily symptom survey and can spend limited time outside.
UConn students we spoke to say they’ll be using these next two weeks to be productive.
Junior Spencer Barry saying, “It gives me time to plan out how I’m going to my in-person classes and virtual classes in the next school year.”
The university said that at the Storrs campus, just about 5,500 students signed up for residential living, while at the Stamford campus about another 265 will live there.
This is exactly why UConn created the 14-day quarantine period for our residential students in advance of the start of classes at the end of the month. There will undoubtedly be more positive cases as more tests result in the coming days, and we will address each the same way as we work to protect the health of individual students and our community.Eleanor Daugherty, UConn Dean of Students
For further details on UConn’s testing policies for residential and commuter students, along with faculty and staff who expect to be on campus on a regular basis, visit their ‘Reopening UConn’ page here.