UofSC announces 1,026 active COVID-19 cases on campus

Sixty percent of the school’s isolation spaces are in use.

UofSC announces 1,026 active COVID-19 cases on campus
The university is now using wastewater surveillance to identify concentrations of potential COVID-19 cases on campus. (Source: Bernadette Heier)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - There are 1,026 students and staff who have active COVID-19 infections on the University of South Carolina’s campus, officials announced Tuesday.

That’s a jump from 557 active cases announced just days before, on Friday, Aug. 28.

Of the current active cases, 1,017 are students and nine are employees.

UofSC says a total of 1,192 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed so far -- meaning 175 people have recovered since they started tracking cases on Aug. 1.

The school’s COVID-19 dashboard shows 60% of the designated isolation and quarantine space on campus is in use.

All students with the virus have had no symptoms or minor symptoms and have not needed hospitalization, officials said Monday.

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So far, 12,814 people have been tested for coronavirus at UofSC. There have been 1,202 positive results and 10,586 negative results. There are still 1,026 tests waiting for results.

Taking into account numerous factors, the university still says its overall alert level is “low.”

It says campus case burden is at a high alert level, while isolation and quarantine capacity and environmental monitoring are at a moderate alert level.

Other factors considered, such as campus testing, contact tracing and mitigation behaviors, are at low or “new normal” alert level -- which is what the school aims for in every category.

Earlier in the afternoon, officials discussed the school’s strategy to test students and track coronavirus cases on its campus.

UofSC COVID-19 update

LIVE: UofSC officials share update on COVID-19 cases, mitigation on campus >> https://bit.ly/3lEgLQe Get the earliest breaking news alerts on your phone with the WIS 10 News app >> http://bit.ly/2Zz44uF

Posted by WIS TV on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The university is now using wastewater surveillance to identify concentrations of potential COVID-19 cases on campus.

Teams of people testing students’ saliva for COVID-19 will provide mobile testing in those specific areas this week.

The mobile testing teams will “allow for more rapid identification, quarantining and care of students,” university officials said Monday.

For information on where to get tested on UofSC’s campus, click or tap here. All students experiencing symptoms should make an appointment to be tested at UofSC Student Health Services.

UofSC also said Monday that it is now fully sharing its testing data with the Department of Health and Environmental Control. University officials said there was some lag time in getting those numbers to DHEC.

Also of note -- DHEC said any college student who lives in South Carolina to go to school, and who gets COVID-19, will be counted as a South Carolina case.

UofSC President Bob Caslen had this to say about the university’s testing:

I applaud the large number of tests we have been doing, enabling us to get same day results. It is important to identify all positive cases and take care of them. We will begin to focus our testing where we are seeing increased numbers of positives, mostly identified through our wastewater surveillance. The is science informing us and enabling us to specifically act in places that require intervention. We will continue to focus and hold students accountable for behavior. Nevertheless, the recent leveling is encouraging, as well as the minimal spread from the student population to faculty, staff and into the community.”

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