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232 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among first-year dormitories since Sept. 16

Watson-Webb has reported the highest total number of cases in a single dorm so far

<p>20 of the University’s 27 first-year dormitories and all Lawn residents have undergone testing.</p>

20 of the University’s 27 first-year dormitories and all Lawn residents have undergone testing.

As of Wednesday, a total of 232 cases of COVID-19 have been identified among first-year residence halls and Lawn residents, 33 of which have been reported since the start of October. Twenty of the University’s 27 first-year dormitories and all Lawn residents have undergone testing.

Wes Hester, deputy university spokesperson and director of media relations, said that the recent encouraging data from residence halls was one of the reasons why the University announced this week that the restriction on gatherings would be relaxed from a maximum of five to a maximum of 10. 

“Students in residence halls have worked very hard to make this semester on-Grounds successful, including doing a terrific job of wearing masks and practicing good social distancing,” Hester said.

Four dorms have been asked to quarantine in-place due to positive wastewater results — Balz-Dobie, Echols, Kellogg and Hancock. Other residence halls have been tested through the University’s asymptomatic prevalence testing program as a part of the University’s ongoing efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 throughout the University community. Per an email sent earlier this week to resident staff, however, the University plans to transition to a regular testing schedule that will require on-Grounds students to report for saliva screening or nasal swab testing at least once every nine days — all students living in first-year residence halls, language houses, residential colleges, upperclass apartments, the Lawn and the Range are required to adhere to the testing schedule.

“The goal of these testing efforts is to identify and contain the virus before transmission can occur in the residence halls,” University Provost Liz Magill, Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis and Medicine Department Chair Mitch Rosner wrote in an email to on-Grounds residents. “Testing is an important way to help identify and contain infections, and an important way to help us remain on Grounds, together.”

Hester said that this schedule will be less disruptive to students and support staff since everyone affected will be able to prepare and plan ahead when it comes to testing. 

Balz-Dobie was the first dorm to be placed under mandatory quarantine and undergo testing in September. Nine additional cases were found as a result of the first round of testing Sept. 16, bringing the dorm’s total to 15 positive cases. After a retest administered Sept. 28, the residence hall reported 19 total cases.

After dorm-wide quarantine and testing, a total of five cases were identified in Echols, 11 in Kellogg and 17 in Hancock.

Lefevre, the first dorm to undergo prevalence testing, has been tested twice. Three cases were found in the first round of testing. The second round, which was conducted Oct. 6, revealed one additional case.

Page also underwent two rounds of testing. After having eight cases initially, further testing revealed six additional cases. The dorm’s Oct. 1 retest unearthed three more cases, bringing the dorm to 19 total cases.

Prevalence testing of Watson-Webb reported 23 cases. Residents were tested again Oct. 5, bringing the dorm’s case count to 27 — the highest number of cases in a single dorm so far.

Bonnycastle, which had 10 cases initially, underwent testing Oct. 5, which revealed 4 additional cases.

Kent, which initially reported five cases, was tested Sept. 30. Testing revealed three additional cases, bringing the dorm’s total to eight.

Cauthen was tested Oct. 1 and testing brought the dorm from six cases to 11.

Gooch and Dillard dorms were tested Oct. 3 and reported nine and 13 cases, respectively.

Both Dabney and Lile-Maupin were selected for prevalence testing Oct. 6. After reporting eight cases initially, seven additional cases were identified in Lile-Maupin. Dabney reported one case to start with, but testing revealed nine additional cases in the dorm.

Norris and Shannon were tested Oct. 7. Testing only revealed one additional case in Norris, but 10 additional cases were identified in Shannon.

Both Metcalf and Emmet were tested Oct. 8 — before testing, Metcalf reported two cases while Emmet reported one. Testing revealed three additional cases in Metcalf and two additional cases in Emmet.

Residents of Tuttle-Dunnington were tested Oct. 9. The dorm initially reported one case of the virus, but testing unearthed eight additional cases.

Bond House and Bice House have not been selected for prevalence testing, but Bond has reported one case of COVID-19 this semester and Bice has reported two. 

Finally, Lawn residents were tested Oct. 10, but testing revealed no additional cases of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, the University has reported a total of 1,000 cases of COVID-19 within the University community, 893 of which have been students. There are currently 105 active student cases.

This story has been updated to reflect the case counts for Bond House and Bice House.

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