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Active COVID-19 cases across ASU nearly double after first full week of classes

After the first week of classes, the number of COVID-19 cases reported among the student body has more than doubled

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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.

Among ASU students, the number of COVID-19 cases reported after the first full week of classes has more than doubled, according to a report by the University, with cases jumping from 121 last week to 271 as of Monday.

After wrapping up the first week of in-person classes for the Fall 2021 semester, ASU in total reported 306 positive cases within the community Monday, an increase of 147 compared to last week’s report of 159 — a 92% rise in cases across the University as a whole.

Out of the students who tested positive for COVID-19, 231 of those students are living off campus in the Phoenix metropolitan area. There are 31 students in isolation on the Tempe campus, while nine students are in isolation across the Downtown Phoenix, West and Polytechnic campuses.

ASU reports 35 known positive cases among faculty and staff.

Since Aug. 2, ASU has conducted a total of 14,357 saliva tests, 5,304 more than last week's report. Since Aug. 1, there have been 423 tests that have come back positive, giving a test positivity rate of approximately 2.9%.

The University collected a total of 2,046 random tests from students and employees from Aug. 23-29. Of the collected samples, 725 tests came from on-campus students, 836 came from off-campus students and 485 came from employees. There were 36 tests which came back positive.

"We still have low response to our random testing," Crow said in a meeting with The State Press Friday. "We need that number to be higher because random testing is the only way that we actually know the actual positivity rate."

Despite the nearly doubling increase of cases within the ASU community, University protocols remain relatively the same, with only one update from Sun Devil Athletics.

"ASU and Sun Devil Athletics strongly recommends that all fans wear a face covering while attending our events," Sun Devil Athletics wrote in a statement

Sun Devil Athletics staff will frequently clean high-touch areas throughout games and will deep clean all facilities before and after every home game.

"When we're asking you to do something where you can't be socially distanced, then we're asking you to wear the mask," Crow said.

The University encouraged people to "remain vigilant against the virus by continuing to follow all public health protocols."

Additionally, the University will be working with immunocompromised faculty and students on a case-by-case basis to provide a third COVID-19 shot.

READ MORE: ASU will provide a third COVID-19 shot on a case-by-case basis

As of Monday, The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 3,247 new positive COVID-19 cases and no new deaths, marking a 9.8% positivity rate across the state.

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