Active COVID-19 cases rise to 95 the week classes start

The University reported the most active coronavirus cases within the community since April

ASU recorded its highest active COVID-19 case total since April as thousands of students return to campus before classes begin Thursday.

On Monday, the University reported 95 active cases among students, faculty and staff, an increase of 16 cases from last week's total of 79 cases. Students make up 69 of the cases, and faculty and staff make up the remaining 26 cases, according to the update

Of the active student cases, 66 are off campus in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Three are in isolation on the Tempe campus and no students are in isolation on the Downtown Phoenix, West or Polytechnic campuses. 

The University has administered over 109,614 COVID-19 tests since Jan. 1. Out of those tests, the University has reported 2,519 total positive cases, yielding a total positivity rate of about 2.3%. 

With cases rising, ASU updated its COVID-19 policies to now require people to wear masks in certain buildings where social distancing isn't possible, including select classrooms and teaching or research labs.

READ MORE: Masks now required to be worn in certain ASU buildings

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 2,400 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths in the state Monday. The state’s current positivity rate is 9.8%.

Cases in Arizona, mirrored by the ASU community, have steadily increased since July and will likely continue to do so with students returning to campus.

"They're coming back from the community so I suspect we will see more or less what we see in the community when they arrive," said Neal Woodbury, chief science and technology officer for ASU Knowledge Enterprise. "That's what we've seen in the past, when people come, either after Christmas or after summer." 

The Biden administration is planning to announce most Americans should get a COVID-19 booster shot eight months after they have received their second vaccine dose, the New York Times reported Monday. The recommendation would need approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

ADHS reported that nearly 7.1 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Arizona, and 54.2% of its residents have been vaccinated. In the U.S., 168.7 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19 vaccines for students are available at ASU Health Services. Students can schedule a vaccination appointment through the Health Portal.


Reach the reporter at mcfisch4@asu.edu and follow @morgfisch on Twitter.

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