SALT LAKE CITY — There were 16 positive results among more than 3,200 students tested for COVID-19 prior to moving into University of Utah residence halls.
Some of the students were moved to isolation rooms while others elected to temporarily move home. The university’s Housing and Residential Education is providing food-delivery service and academic support to the students while they are in isolation or quarantine.
Approximately 3,400 students are expected to live on campus this fall — including about 100 student-athletes who were tested when they arrived at the U. earlier this summer. Late-arriving students will be tested once they are on campus.
“This testing of asymptomatic individuals was done to identify anyone who may be positive for COVID-19 but might not be aware of it in order to have them isolate as per public health protocols for mitigating the spread of this contagious disease,” said Lori McDonald, vice president for Student Affairs in a statement.
Thus far, the testing revealed a 0.5% a positivity rate.
The university has 407 beds set aside to isolate and quarantine students as needed.
To reduce risk of spread of the coronavirus, the university is asking all campus community members to follow basic health hygiene guidelines: wear face coverings, physically distance, wash hands frequently, gather only in small groups and stay home if they are feeling sick.
The Salt Lake County Department of Health confirmed the U. had 16 students test positive, but not all stayed in campus housing after receiving their test results.
Meanwhile, Westminster College’s case count remained at one, said spokesman Nicholas Rupp.
At Utah State University, there have been 15 “active” cases among students but the university’s website does not break down where the students attend classes.
USU has two cases in students in dormitories but did not specify where. It has student housing in Logan, Price and Blanding.
Active cases include those who tested positive within the last three weeks.
“If we start to see clusters of cases in on-campus housing, we will be sending out an emergency notification to all students,” said USU spokeswoman Emilie Wheeler.
The university has reserved 4% of its single beds in student housing for isolation or quarantine if needed.
Thus far at Weber State University, there have been no COVID-19 cases tied to students moving into dorms for fall term, spokeswoman Allison Barlow Hess said.
The university had two positive cases reported in its residence hall earlier this summer, one in July and another in early August.
“They isolated in a self-isolation area set aside in residence halls. They were both asymptomatic, but isolated out of precaution,” she said.
Correction: An earlier version said Utah State University has had 15 active cases among students in campus housing. USU has had just two positive cases in university housing. Other active cases were among students attending classes on its campuses statewide.