AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University reports 34 more students tested positive for the coronavirus during the final round of move-in testing over the weekend.
From July 31-Aug. 16, Iowa State tested 8,094 students moving in to residence halls and campus apartments. In total, 175 students tested positive, which is 2.2% of all students tested.
Iowa State is requiring all students who tested positive to isolate for ten days. About half of the students are isolating in rooms provided by the department of residence. Quarantine rooms are also available for students notified through contact tracing that they were exposed to a positive case.
This week, Iowa State has faced concerns after photos and videos circulating over social media showed large gatherings of students without masks. Iowa State officials condemned these large gatherings, warning they increase the chance that the university will have to move classes online.
“University administrators, faculty, staff and community partners have worked diligently for the past four months to establish effective health and safety guidelines to provide students an on-campus experience. This includes requiring face coverings, practicing physical distancing and avoiding large gatherings.
Disregarding these health and safety policies jeopardizes the university’s ability to provide in-person experiences and increases the chance that all classes will move online. If students want to complete the fall semester on campus, this disregard must stop.
Gathering in large groups and not wearing face coverings puts the health and safety of our community at risk. Iowa State will continue to work closely with community partners to remind students of their responsibility, and if needed, enforce policies for nuisance parties. The university is committed to the goal of providing an on-campus experience, and we implore all students to do their part in keeping our community healthy and campus open.”
— Toyia Younger, Senior Vice President of Student Affairs
— Sharron Evans, Dean of Students
This week, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill decided to no longer hold in-person classes after about 130 students tested positive for the coronavirus within the first week classes began, raising the positivity rate to 13.6%, according to CNN.
The University of Notre Dame on Tuesday moved classes online for two weeks in response to a spike in coronavirus cases, according to the South Bend Tribune.
Classes began at Iowa State on Monday. Thielen Student Health Center will provide testing for students, faculty and staff with symptoms of COVID-19 throughout the fall semester.
“We continue to evaluate other testing strategies for the fall semester and may modify the approach based on advances in testing technology,” said Kristen Obbink, Iowa State’s COVID-19 public health coordinator. “ISU’s public health team will provide contact tracing and case management throughout the fall semester to help reduce the spread of infection.”
Obbink says the goal is to pinpoint areas to intervene and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Iowa State will continue to provide weekly updates on testing throughout the fall semester.