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Active COVID-19 cases stay under 15; Delta variant identified in Arizona

ASU reported 13 active cases within its community for the second consecutive week

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Pharmacist Trevor Lawrence fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Desert Financial Arena in Tempe on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

ASU reported 13 total active COVID-19 cases Monday, the same number of active cases it reported last week.

According to the update, two of the cases are among faculty and staff, and students make up the remaining 11 active cases. 

All 11 active student cases are off-campus in the metropolitan Phoenix area, and there are no cases on the Tempe, Downtown Phoenix, West or Polytechnic campuses.

The University has reported a total of 2,295 positive cases out of the 97,634 total tests administered since Jan. 1, with a total positivity rate of about 2.4%.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported a total of 384 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths in the state Monday. Arizona’s total positivity rate is currently at 9.8%.

Over 3 million Arizonans have been fully vaccinated. Just over 3.5 million people in the state have received at least one dose of the vaccine, meaning about 48.8% of Arizonans are at least partially vaccinated. 

Amid low daily cases and continued vaccination efforts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reclassified the Delta variant of COVID-19 as a “variant of concern.” 

Variants are labeled "of concern" if they have shown evidence of being more contagious or more deadly, according to the CDC. The Delta variant, which first emerged in India, has since been found in Arizona.

ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ wrote in a blog post Wednesday to encourage Arizonans to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19, especially with the presence of a more contagious variant of the virus.

"Research suggests that vaccines are effective against the Delta variant — the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been found to be 88% effective at preventing serious illness after both doses, but only 33% effective after one dose," Christ wrote in the blog post. "This highlights how important it is to be fully vaccinated."

The University has yet to release any new guidelines following Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order barring public universities and community colleges in Arizona from requiring students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and release their vaccination records. The order also bars the institutions from mandating mask-wearing and testing for students to participate in academic activities. 

COVID-19 vaccination appointments across the state can be found on the ADHS vaccine patient portal. ASU students can continue to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments through the Health Portal, and ASU employees can access vaccination information through ASU Employee Health. 

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