UTA reports 21 more COVID-19 cases this week

The setting sun reflects off the UTA tower Jan. 19 on the corner of UTA Boulevard and Cooper Street. 

UTA reported an additional 21 COVID-19 cases this week, bringing the total number of reported cases to 143 since March 14.

The university reported the additional cases between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16. One case was reported from the previous week, on Oct. 9.

Out of 21 reported cases this week, 11 are students and 10 are university employees. Last week, UTA reported 22 additional COVID-19 cases: 10 students, 11 employees and one case was both a student and employee.

As of Thursday, 34 positive COVID-19 cases remain active, university spokesperson Joe Carpenter said in an email. Like previous weeks, cases reported since Oct. 10 represent a cross-section of UTA students and employees.

Some employee cases represent an outbreak within departments in Davis Hall and Texas Hall’s basement. Since Oct. 5, Carpenter said 18 cases were identified as employees who work in either location.

On Oct. 11, the university sent an email to employees in those buildings about actions that have been taken regarding the outbreak.

The university’s response to the outbreak is consistent with actions outlined in UTA’s retrenching plan, which is an addendum to UTA’s Campus Repopulation Plan, Carpenter said. A copy of the university’s Campus Repopulation Plan can be found here.

According to the email, the university said there were no linkages between the departments that have been identified. To reduce office occupancy, only essential personnel will report to work in Davis Hall and Texas Hall’s basement through Oct. 25.

All contact tracing protocols for these recent cases have been completed, stated the email. Facilities Management will continue to clean and sanitize affected workspaces and common spaces within these buildings.

The entire interior of Davis Hall and the basement of Texas Hall have been sanitized with disinfectant mist, according to the email.

As of Thursday, individuals housed at Lipscomb Hall include two remaining in isolation and one in quarantine, Carpenter said. The residence hall is currently used to house any on-campus residents not able to self-isolate or quarantine in their own room or apartment.

A student quarantines at Lipscomb Hall after being exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, while a student in isolation is confirmed to have COVID-19.

Carpenter said Lipscomb Hall’s use for UTA housing residents has been beneficial in the university’s response to individuals who could not effectively quarantine in their own rooms or apartments.

Individuals personally diagnosed with COVID-19 must report it to the university and fill out the Personal Diagnosis form. These individuals are expected to self-isolate at an off-campus location.

UTA has 2,382 students living in residence halls and 1,908 students living in UTA apartments. Entering the fall semester, 474 students were enrolled in in-person only classes, and 19,829 students were enrolled in hybrid classes.

Since Oct. 10, two resident hall students and two apartment residents were confirmed to have COVID-19, Carpenter said.

Through Health Services and the North Texas Genome Center, the university has performed 2,411 COVID-19 tests since March 14, and 76 have been positive tests. According to Carpenter, these numbers represent the number of tests, not individuals.

An individual could have taken a test more than once. Also, not all university notified cases are tested through on-campus testing sites.

“Remain vigilant. Protect yourself and others. Wear a mask. Social Distance. Wash hands. Cover coughs,” Carpenter said. “Monitor symptoms and do NOT go to class or come to campus if you are symptomatic. If you are a student and have symptoms, request a test.”

@daisygarciac

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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