As students head back to campus, US colleges try to prevent and combat Covid-19 cases

Whilst performing arts struggle to return to concert halls around the world, orchestras and audiences are having to adapt to a new socially-distanced normal.

Posted: Aug 16, 2020 1:42 PM
Updated: Aug 17, 2020 9:55 AM


The return to college campuses this month has offered a preview into how the coronavirus pandemic has drastically reshaped the university experience.

While US leaders are still grappling to enforce safety guidelines throughout their communities, university heads have re-structured the entire fall semester hoping to avoid outbreaks and a second shutdown. Institutions that opted not to start classes solely online have adopted new features for move-in, including temperature checks, coronavirus testing, mandatory quarantines, plexiglass dividers and other additions meant to minimize contact between students and staff.

Some experts worry it might not be enough to control the virus that's still running rampant in some parts of the country. More than 5.3 million Americans have been infected and at least 169,481 have died.

"Are colleges safe in general to open up right now? I would say probably not," said Dr. James Phillips, a physician and assistant professor at George Washington University Hospital. "When we look at high schools, there's a much more controlled environment there for the students and the teachers."

School reopenings have also made headlines as districts across the country welcomed students back to class and some had to readjust their plans following positive cases. According to new guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number and rate of coronavirus cases in children have been "steadily increasing" from March to July.

In universities, where young groups of people gain access to a newfound freedom, Phillips said, "there are so many other variables that go in that are going to make it incredibly difficult to keep the virus out of the classrooms and out of those living spaces."

In Pennsylvania, Villanova University's president sent a stern warning to students this week, saying that those who opt not to follow health guidelines like washing their hands and wearing a mask at all times will "BE SENT HOME."

"If you can't or won't commit to this new way of doing things, then you shouldn't be here. It's as simple as that."

Coronavirus: Your questions, answered

Universities report Covid-19 cases

Multiple campuses have already reported new cases.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said Saturday a cluster of cases was identified in the Sigma Nu fraternity. The announcement comes a day after the university announced clusters had been identified in the Ehringhaus Community and Granville Towers.

Donde Plowman, the chancellor of University of Tennessee, Knoxville, said there were a total of 28 active cases, 20 of which were students and eight were employees. More than 150 people were in self-isolation last week, most of whom were non-residential students and employees.

"Part of what we look at to make decisions about campus operations are our ability to isolate and quarantine residential students as well as keeping up with contact tracing," Plowman said.

In Ohio, Cedarville University confirmed a student had tested positive and is isolated on campus, CNN affiliate WCMH reported.

"The student is in good condition and will remain in isolation during recovery," President Thomas White wrote in a letter, according to the affiliate. "The students who may have been exposed are in quarantine, monitoring for symptoms."

The president said the student was the first and only case on campus.

Track the virus

FDA gives green light to saliva-based test

Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration announced it granted emergency use authorization to a coronavirus diagnostic test that uses a new and inexpensive method of detecting the virus through saliva samples.

That's good news: some Americans still have to wait days to receive their testing results and now groups like the American Medical Association are calling for guidelines that help fast-track Americans who need their tests and results urgently.

With the newly authorized test, saliva is self-collected, under the observation of a health care worker, in a sterile container without the use of a specific swab or collection device. That test can yield results in less than three hours, researchers said, and up to 92 samples can be tested at once.

As for the cost: researchers said they expect labs to charge about $10 per sample.

The NBA was among the groups that funded research for the test and currently uses the method to test asymptomatic people for the virus.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 996341

Reported Deaths: 16245
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1343262101
Lake658231151
Allen57160791
Hamilton45963460
St. Joseph43954607
Elkhart35546503
Vanderburgh31975473
Tippecanoe27694256
Johnson24821440
Hendricks23647353
Porter22735362
Madison18538404
Clark18383248
Vigo17274300
Monroe15117197
LaPorte14987249
Delaware14931256
Howard14574286
Kosciusko12166147
Hancock11597175
Bartholomew11447179
Warrick11225188
Floyd10983214
Wayne10840248
Grant9898217
Morgan9361176
Boone8819115
Dubois8210129
Dearborn815492
Henry8107150
Noble7944106
Marshall7786134
Cass7462119
Lawrence7379168
Shelby7115114
Jackson691788
Gibson6480113
Harrison641591
Huntington630299
Knox6269105
DeKalb623796
Montgomery6184109
Miami586595
Putnam573477
Clinton567171
Whitley558055
Steuben550473
Wabash5250101
Jasper520475
Jefferson504695
Ripley492485
Adams472773
Daviess4596112
Scott433968
Greene421196
Wells419787
Clay418460
White414261
Decatur4118101
Fayette402186
Jennings383260
Posey374243
LaGrange352078
Washington352049
Randolph339999
Spencer336442
Fountain331858
Sullivan326652
Starke310868
Owen310169
Fulton304566
Orange290562
Jay278445
Perry264452
Franklin262742
Carroll258232
Rush257232
Vermillion254254
Parke229726
Pike227343
Tipton225659
Blackford187840
Pulaski181155
Crawford158122
Newton155648
Benton150117
Brown144047
Martin137319
Switzerland133911
Warren120116
Union106615
Ohio84012
Unassigned0532

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1490451

Reported Deaths: 23327
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1620041662
Cuyahoga1439412412
Hamilton1040301409
Montgomery727961240
Summit606541094
Lucas55296904
Butler50803707
Stark456401053
Lorain34875568
Warren32293369
Mahoning30057672
Clermont27811321
Lake26457434
Delaware23872162
Licking23361283
Trumbull22357552
Fairfield22081241
Greene21967311
Medina21624305
Clark19513349
Richland18225280
Portage17579247
Wood17122220
Allen15627269
Miami15259296
Muskingum14417174
Columbiana13587263
Wayne13494263
Tuscarawas12372298
Marion11742175
Scioto11313154
Pickaway11246141
Erie10586180
Ross10397196
Lawrence9630137
Hancock9476149
Ashtabula9370197
Belmont9059197
Geauga8766157
Jefferson8439191
Huron8172139
Union806256
Washington7995137
Sandusky7654145
Athens765372
Knox7539138
Darke7525151
Seneca7166144
Ashland6761125
Auglaize663396
Shelby6374111
Brown626282
Crawford6147130
Mercer605793
Defiance6043102
Fulton588596
Highland585899
Madison584976
Clinton573890
Logan566292
Guernsey564867
Preble5623121
Putnam5227108
Williams515384
Perry510661
Champaign500871
Jackson493470
Ottawa476686
Coshocton466382
Morrow448256
Pike428462
Fayette419960
Adams409287
Gallia408165
Hardin407176
Van Wert361578
Henry356671
Holmes3539122
Hocking349078
Wyandot315761
Carroll294559
Paulding274345
Meigs256849
Monroe210553
Noble195146
Morgan188132
Harrison177042
Vinton161124
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 54°
Angola
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 56°
It’s a cool Saturday with drier conditions and low humidity levels.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events