Six cases of COVID-19 have been detected by the University of Colorado Boulder since the institution began welcoming students back to campus for the fall semester, according to the university’s coronavirus dashboard.
Between Aug. 11 and Monday, CU Boulder conducted 588 COVID-19 tests and confirmed six positive cases. Five of those cases were found Monday as 1,200 students descended on the state’s largest university as part of a week-long move-in process, extended in order to make campus less populated in order to fight the spread of the new coronavirus.
To be admitted into the dorms, students moving into on-campus housing needed to either provide university officials with a negative COVID-19 test from within the past five days or test negative upon arrival via a rapid-result test provided by CU Boulder.
CU Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano said the administration knew there would be an increase in coronavirus cases once students began returning.
“Our testing capabilities exceed those of the community,” DiStefano said during a CU Board of Regents meeting last week. “We will be discovering asymptotic and presymptomatic carriers”
Students who tested positive had the option to head back home if they’re local or be admitted to quarantine dorms on campus.
According to the dashboard, 2% of CU Boulder’s dedicated quarantine space was in use as of Monday evening. CU officials have not said how many students can be accommodated in the campus’s quarantine housing.
The testing does not account for positive tests taken at outside sites. Off-campus students will not be tested before coming onto campus to take courses, some of which are in-person and some which are online.
During a CU Board of Regents meeting last week, Regent Sue Sharkey, R-Castle Rock, said she was concerned that only students living on campus would be checked for COVID-19.
“It leaves me very concerned and not confident because we’re going to have thousands of students coming onto campus, attending in-person classes that will not have been tested,” Sharkey said. “Any testing done is only effective at the moment they got the test.”
At Colorado College in Colorado Springs, 155 students were quarantined in their rooms for two weeks as of Monday evening after a student tested positive for the virus after moving into the dorms.
The Air Force Academy had a number of cadets test positive for the coronavirus, but officials said they were not able to provide details, citing Department of Defense guidance, according to an Associated Press report.
The AP reported that positive cases remained below 1% of the Air Force Academy cadets and Preparatory School cadet candidates.
Melanie Marquez Parra, CU Boulder spokeswoman, said if a student were to test positive for COVID-19 after moving into their residence hall, there would be an investigation completed through the campus contact-tracing program in coordination with Boulder County Public Health to determine who might have been exposed and what next steps would be necessary.
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