The University’s COVID-19 tracker reported 229 cases Tuesday, all of which were students — this surpasses Monday's record of 121 cases in a single day by more than 100. Before Monday, the previous single-day record was Sept. 17, when 59 cases were reported in a single day due to a testing backlog. This brings the total number of cases in the University community this semester to 974 — 605 of which are active.
The Commonwealth saw 2,284 new cases Tuesday — meaning the 229 cases reported at the University are equal to 10 percent of cases recorded in the state.
The update comes after President Jim Ryan announced the implementation of new restrictions intended to slow the spread of the virus Tuesday evening — these include banning all in-person gatherings, restricting movement to “essential” activities only, closing all recreational facilities, limiting dining hall capacity and shifting libraries to contactless pick-up only. These restrictions will be in place until at least Feb. 26, at which point they will be reevaluated. During this time, in-person classes will continue with additional safety precautions.
The University has also previously confirmed the presence of the more contagious B.1.1.7. U.K. variant, but will not disclose how many cases are related to the variant due to “concern for the privacy of the individuals involved,” according to University Spokesperson Brian Coy.
In his Tuesday email to the University community, Ryan stated that the University’s in-house analysis led them to believe that the increased spread was not due to the variant, but instead to transmission of the original virus strand.
The seven-day average positivity rate for the University community has increased by nearly one percent in a single day — from 1.70 percent Tuesday to 2.60 percent Wednesday. Positivity rate is the percentage of individuals who tested positive out of all individuals tested. The University tested 4,225 people Tuesday — setting a new record for the number of tests performed in a day. The previous high was from Thursday when 4,091 tests were administered.
The positivity rate among students is 2.82 percent while the positivity rate among faculty and staff is 0.49 percent.
Between Aug. 17 and Dec. 31, there were a total of 1,548 cases in the University community. The new cases from the past two days make up 36 percent of all cases this spring.
The University has also canceled all prevalence testing Thursday due to inclement weather, though testing was available last Friday despite the snow.
Deputy University Spokesperson Wes Hester previously told The Cavalier Daily that the University has not identified a connection between the recent increase in cases and Greek life recruitment — parts of which were held in-person — though many students have taken to social media to associate rush events with the rise in cases and resulting restrictions.
The percentage of isolation space occupied shot up to 32 percent from 19 percent Tuesday. 22 percent of quarantine space is currently occupied, a decrease of 2 percent from Tuesday. The University added 200 new quarantine beds Monday.
U.Va. Health admitted eight new patients Tuesday, for a total of 45 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19.
The Blue Ridge Health District reported 173 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the district’s total number of cases to 12,062. The Blue Ridge Health District encompasses both Charlottesville and Albemarle County — Charlottesville currently has 3,168 cases and Albemarle County reports 4,319.
The Cavalier Daily is currently investigating potential violations of public health guidelines relating to in-person recruitment events over the past two weeks. Community members can submit a tip on our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org with information.
This article has been updated to reflect that the University has canceled prevalence testing Thursday.