Active coronavirus cases within the ASU community continue to decline

There have been 1,784 ASU community members who have tested positive since Aug. 1

Active cases of the new coronavirus are trending down within the ASU community and are generally trending down in the state

There are 257 total active positive COVID-19 cases within the ASU community as of Sept. 23, according to an update posted online Thursday. Active student cases have decreased to 255 and employee cases have decreased to two.

The total number of cases dropped by six cases since Monday's update when the University reported 263 total active positives. 

There are 171 cases off campus in the metropolitan Phoenix area and 73 are in isolation on the Tempe campus. The remaining 11 cases are on the Downtown Phoenix, West and Polytechnic campuses.

The University has yet to publicly report if there have been any coronavirus-related hospitalizations or deaths among students or employees.

Since Aug. 1, there have been 1,753 known positives among students and 31 among employees, a total of 1,784 ASU community members. The cumulative student positive case number has increased by 83 since Monday's update.

ASU President Michael Crow told The State Press in an interview Wednesday roughly 20% of 74,500 students and about 30% of 12,400 employees were coming to campus. 

READ MORE: Crow says University is effectively managing COVID-19

ASU has collected approximately 65,412 tests since Aug. 1 from students and employees. If someone takes a test outside of ASU's testing, it is only recommended they report results to the University, according to its coronavirus FAQ page

The school community's percent positivity rate stands at roughly 2.7% when using the number of cumulative cases as the numerator and the number of tests as the denominator. This rate has stayed relatively the same since the beginning of the school year.

Thursday's update does not include new numbers representing the number of tests completed through ASU's random testing plan, implemented in late August. Updates on random testing data will be included in another post on Monday. 

In Thursday's update, ASU reported over 3,500 tests had been conducted through its random testing program between Sept. 13-19. During that time period, 36 off-campus students and 29 on-campus students tested positive.

On Thursday, the state of Arizona awarded University researchers $6 million to develop an even more rapid COVID-19 test using a saliva-based sample that could produce results in as little as 20 minutes. 

Crow said in a meeting with The State Press a prototype of the testing technology should be ready in six months.

READ MORE: ASU will receive $6 million from state for new COVID-19 test

The University reported Thursday 1,682 students and 152 employees had rolled off the positive case number after meeting benchmarks to return to campus. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that influence University policy do not require those who test positive for the virus to test negative before returning to a community. 

After receiving information about the complexities of handling the coronavirus and the flu at the same time, the University announced it would move instruction online after Thanksgiving break and move finals week to the week of Nov. 30

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 566 new positive COVID-19 cases and 34 more deaths in Arizona Thursday, bringing the state total to 215,852 cases and 5,559 deaths. 

Senior Reporter Wyatt Myskow contributed to the writing of this article. 


Reach the reporter at pjhanse1@asu.edu and follow @piperjhansen on Twitter. 

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