UTA reports highest single-week increase in COVID-19 cases

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

UTA reported an additional 35 COVID-19 cases this week — its highest single-week increase — bringing the total number of reported cases to 89.

As of Friday afternoon, 26 of the listed cases on the university website are active, university spokesperson Joe Carpenter said in an email. These individuals are required to isolate themselves.

The university was notified of six confirmed cases over the weekend between Saturday and Sunday. Between Sept. 21 and Sept. 24, the university was notified of the other cases, with the highest increase of 19 confirmed cases reported on Tuesday, according to the university website.

The spike in cases comes after UTA Athletics postponed this week’s volleyball matches because some players on the team tested positive for COVID-19.

Fifteen of the 19 cases reported Tuesday are associated with UTA Athletics and include some of the students on the volleyball team, Carpenter said. The test results come from the North Texas Genome Center, the Health Center and off-campus reports.

Some but not all cases are the result of active testing in designated student populations such as student-athletes and individuals associated with past reported positive cases identified through contact tracing, Carpenter said.

According to the university website, if a student, faculty or staff member is personally diagnosed with COVID-19, they must report it to the university through the personal diagnosis form and will need to self-isolate at an off-campus location.

If a UTA Housing resident does not have suitable off-campus accommodations, they can self-isolate at Lipscomb Hall. As of Friday afternoon, there are six individuals in isolation and two in quarantine at Lipscomb Hall, Carpenter said.

Since the first reported case of COVID-19 on campus in March, Carpenter said the university has worked with each individual to identify any university contact they may have had while most likely being contagious.

“The locations within the buildings determined to have been potentially exposed are subsequently subject to additional cleaning and sanitization,” he said. “These have included academic, residential, athletic, recreational, administrative and service-related buildings, among others.”

These reported cases reflect faculty, staff, students or contractors/vendors who have known, confirmed cases of COVID-19 and may have been on campus while they were infected.

The university does not report positive COVID-19 cases of individuals who haven’t been on campus recently.

Universities throughout the nation have seen an increase in cases since the start of the fall semester.

Texas Christian University, located in Fort Worth, reported 16 total active cases as of Friday afternoon. TCU has seen a total of 1,144 positive cases since March, according to their university COVID-19 dashboard.

TCU has about 9,400 undergraduates, a significantly smaller number than UTA’s undergraduate count. However, it is unknown how many attend in-person or hybrid classes in either university.

The University of North Texas in Denton currently reports a total of 22 active COVID-19 cases as of Friday afternoon. According to their university website, only five of those cases are a result of direct campus impact.

At the University of Texas at Dallas, the university reported 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the month of September so far. But, it is unclear how many of those are currently active, according to their university website.

@daisygarciac

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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