Update of COVID-19 cases on university campuses

State colleges and univeristies take precautions to prevent coronavirus outbreak

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The thought of bars reopening in East Baton Rouge is a point of concern for LSU officials, but they say they can only encourage safety. Right now, the COVID 19 numbers at LSU remain consistent.

There are 20 new cases to report but the university leaders say they are not satisfied with the amount of testing that’s going on. Earlier this month, they began testing wastewater for COVID-19 to isolate high-risk areas and we’re told COVID-19 was detected in the wastewater for a couple of the residence halls. LSU then required every resident of those halls to be tested.

They say they were able to get between 80 and 90 percent participation from those residents and everyone who tested positive or was exposed to COVID was notified. Still, LSU officials want more students to be tested in general, so that they can get a true sense of what may be going on. They say now is not the time to be complacent and bar reopening right now is concerning.

“We’d be lying if we didn’t say we’re a little worried, of course, but we believe in our students and they are adults. They’re going to have to make a personal decision of whether they feel comfortable going to those facilities or not at this point. as the state eases restrictions and as these facilities become available to a wider population, it just makes all the other protections measures even more important,” Ashley Arceneaux said.

In New Orleans, Tulane University just surpassed the 50,000 mark for COVID-19 tests. Tulane’s testing program includes testing on-campus undergraduate students twice a week. Right now, Tulane has a positivity rate of 1.4 percent.

“We completed our return to campus on August 18 and since then just adjusting on what our data shows. It’s been a very busy time. we also have our own contact tracing unit so we have about 18 people both staff and students doing contact tracing 7 days a week,” says Scott Tims.

While the numbers aren’t too high right now at Tulane, university leaders say the testing program here will likely stay the same until the next Spring.

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