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ASU community active COVID-19 cases increase after fall semester ends

Maricopa County is expected to receive approximately 47,000 coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of next week

20200826 Covid Testing Sites-2.jpg
ASU students wait to get COVID tested in the SDFC Maroon Gym on the Tempe Campus, in Tempe, Arizona on Wednesday, August 26, 2020.

Active COVID-19 cases increased by 36 since Monday's update to a total of 401 within the ASU community, according to an update from the University Thursday. 

Since its last update, the University reported active cases among students increased by 31 to 317, and active cases among employees increased by five to 84. 

There are 296 active cases among students off campus in the metropolitan Phoenix area, and 18 students are isolating on the Tempe campus. A total of three active student cases are on Downtown Phoenix, West or Polytechnic campuses. 

There have been 3,631 cumulative cases within the ASU community since Aug. 1. Students make up 3,378 of those cumulative cases, and employees make up 253. Cumulative cases increased by 141 since Monday when the University reported there were 3,490 cumulative cases.

The University has collected approximately 159,161 tests from students and employees since Aug. 1. According to the update, ASU has tested 83% of on-campus students and 45% of off-campus students. 

The ASU community's percent positivity rate is roughly 2.2%, using the cumulative number of positive results as the numerator and the total number of tests collected as the denominator.

In an interview with The State Press on Dec. 2, University President Michael Crow said the University — with its Community of Care and commitment to social distancing, face coverings and other mitigation methods — managed to operate with COVID-19 during the fall semester. 

READ MORE: Crow says despite imperfections, ASU managed COVID-19

The spring semester will look mostly the same, with classes offered in the same modalities as fall, required face coverings and other health and safety precautions. The University is planning to encourage faculty to return to campus to teach in-person with the hope that more students will take opportunities to interact with one another. 

Crow said the University would make whatever accommodations necessary to make having students on campus safe again.

Arizona reported a Rt of 1.22 Thursday, a number expressing how rapidly the virus is growing, which is currently the highest mark in the nation.

On Thursday, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 4,928 new cases and 73 additional deaths, bringing the state's totals to 387,529 cases and 7,154 deaths. 

Arizona is expected to receive 383,750 COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of December, with the first shipment arriving the week of Dec. 13, according to the governor's office. Maricopa County will receive approximately 47,000 doses in the first week, and its distribution will prioritize health care workers, long-term care facility residents, educators and other vulnerable populations. 

A panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended the Pfizer vaccine's approval Thursday. The agency is expected to approve the vaccine in time for its nationwide roll-out. 

Reach the reporter at and follow @piperjhansen on Twitter. 

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Piper HansenDigital Editor-in-Chief

Piper Hansen is the digital editor-in-chief at The State Press, overseeing all digital content. Joining SP in Spring 2020, she has covered student government, housing and COVID-19. She has previously written about state politics for The Arizona Republic and the Arizona Capitol Times and covers social justice for Cronkite News.

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