Cumulative University cases surpass 2,000

Since Aug. 1, approximately 2,024 students and employees have been infected with the coronavirus, and the number of active cases dipped below 100

The University reported there have been over 2,000 cumulative cases of the coronavirus within the ASU community since Aug. 1 in an update posted online Thursday. 

ASU has reported 2,024 cumulative cases within its community since Aug. 1. Students make up 1,980 of those cases while employees make up 44. 

That's more infected students than undergraduate students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, nearly half as many undergraduate students on the West campus in Fall 2019 and shy of the total number of Black undergraduate students who attended ASU on a metropolitan campus in the same semester. 

Active COVID-19 cases within the ASU community have decreased to 99 as of Oct. 15, according to the update.

The total number of active cases has decreased by 30 since Monday's update when the University reported there were 129 cases. Total active student cases have decreased to 91, and employee cases have stayed the same at eight cases since Monday's update. 

At a Tuesday media briefing on ASU coronavirus testing and data, ASU Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer said he is "a little nervous about the state" and that "the trend is not looking good right now." 

"If you look at our numbers right now, it looks a lot like it did at the beginning of June," he said.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 1,113 cases and 17 additional deaths Thursday, bringing the state totals to 228,748 cases and 5,789 deaths.

LaBaer said it is difficult to pinpoint what may have caused the recent uptick in cases. He said counties and cities where mask mandates and business closures have become more relaxed should be watched more closely. 

"On one hand, we're looking for public policy to really reassure people and inform people of what they need to be doing," LaBaer said. "On the other hand, this comes down to personal responsibility."

LaBaer said the ASU health check application has helped keep students and faculty accountable for their own personal symptoms, and a personal check-in would be beneficial to those outside the University community. 

A University spokesperson said 85% of students and 94% of employees have been compliant with completing the health check daily as of last week. 

There are 68 cases off campus in the metropolitan Phoenix area, 22 in isolation on the Tempe campus and one remaining case is somewhere on the Downtown Phoenix, West and Polytechnic campuses. 

Cumulative cases have increased by 28 since Monday's reported cumulative total of 1,996 cases.

Internal tracking of ADHS zip code data shows cases in zip codes where campuses are located and an additional Tempe zip code– 85281, 85282, 85004, 85306. 85212 and 85282 – shows an increase of 66 collective cases from Wednesday.

ASU has collected approximately 87,677 tests from students and employees since Aug. 1. The University has tested 68% of on-campus students and 29% of off-campus students since the start of the semester, according to the update. 

The ASU community's percent positivity rate is roughly 2.3%, using the cumulative number of positive results as the numerator and the total number of tests collected as the denominator. 

The University reported Thursday 63 more students and one more employee had been rolled off the active case list after meeting guidelines to return to campus. 

The University does not require those who test positive to show negative test results before returning to campus, according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that influence University policy. 

Since Aug. 27, the University has administered 15,980 random tests. Random test result data is only updated on Mondays. 

Per University policy, no email was sent to students about this data because there were no operational changes. Students can still live in residence halls and take classes in person all while following a number of safety protocols. 


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

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