According to the University’s COVID-19 tracker, 25 new cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty, staff and contracted workers were reported over the weekend as the fall semester enters its final full week of the calendar year. Of these reported new cases, 17 were among students.
Twenty-one of the positive cases were reported on Friday, while three cases were reported on Saturday and one more reported on Sunday.
Of the 8,653 tests conducted from Nov. 8 through Nov. 14, the University reported 70 new cases for an overall positivity rate of 0.8 percent.
Among students, the positivity rate last week increased from 0.39 percent to 0.67 percent.
After decreasing to 1.57 new cases per day on Nov. 1, the seven-day moving average of new cases among students increased again last week to as high as 8.29 cases per day on Friday. That mark was the highest that the seven-day average among students had been since Oct. 12, when it was at 8.71 new cases per day.
The Thomas Jefferson Health District reported seven new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, two new cases Saturday and one new case Sunday. The THJD’s seven-day positivity rate now stands at 2.7 percent.
The Virginia Department of Health, meanwhile, reported 2,677 new cases on Monday, though noted on its website that the large batch of new cases was “due to a catch-up from the VDH data system being down for upgrades for a few hours over the weekend.”
The commonwealth’s seven-day positivity rate is now 7.3 percent.
The overwhelming majority of the University’s dedicated quarantine and isolation housing remains open. On Monday, just 2 percent of quarantine housing was occupied, along with 1 percent of isolation housing.
The slight uptick in cases on-Grounds comes as COVID-19 cases around the country continue to surge. The United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center, added 133,045 new cases yesterday and reported 616 additional deaths. The country has had a total of 11,036,935 cases and 246,214 deaths since the pandemic began earlier this year.
In response to the surge in COVID-19 cases nationally and within the commonwealth of Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam, D-Va., announced heightened restrictions intended to limit the spread of the virus.
The most recent order restricts gatherings to 25 people from a previous limit of up to 250 and prohibits on-premises alcohol sales after 10 p.m.
In an email to undergraduate, graduate and professional students on Sunday, Dean of Students Allen Groves expressed concern over “recent slippage” to the adherence of University COVID-19 guidelines surrounding social distancing, gathering sizes and masking.
He cited several instances from Halloween weekend, mentioned a report the University received last week about a large gathering at a winery in Albemarle County and noted other gatherings in the Gordon/Rugby area. In all cases, he said, violations of University policy will be subject to investigation and discipline from the University Judiciary Committee.