UI surpasses 2,500 COVID-19 cases since start of semester

By Ethan Simmons, News Editor

Last week was a strange one for the University’s COVID-19 cases; for the first time, they remained steady and even increased through the week, instead of peaking on Monday or Tuesday.

University modelers and researchers at the Illinois Shield team have noted the trend of the weekly high in new cases coming at the beginning of the week, signaling weekend socializing from three to five days prior.

Monday and Tuesday brought 18 new cases apiece, Wednesday brought 20, then another 23 and 22 students, faculty and staff tested positive for their first times on Thursday and Friday.

In all, during the week ended Oct. 23, the University found 109 new cases of COVID-19 after 56,000 tests, up from 85 cases and 54,000 tests the week prior.

A total of 2,509 University students, faculty and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 on campus since classes began on Aug. 24.

Another 231 tested positive for the virus between Aug. 15, right around when students began moving back to campus en masse, and the beginning of the semester, while 144 cases were found on campus over the summer.

To date, the University has conducted 630,301 saliva tests for COVID-19 as of Friday, and 2,884 people have tested positive. 

According to University spokesperson Robin Kaler, nearly 49,000 people have tested on campus since the program began in July, and around 38,000 people are regularly testing every week, with 35,000 of them being undergraduates and graduate students.

Therefore, around 6% of everyone who’s been tested on campus has tested positive for COVID-19.

Local health officials at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District estimate that around 95% of all campus cases have been undergraduates, with 80% being “asymptomatic.”

There are just over 33,000 undergraduates at the University, but many aren’t staying on campus. The proportion of on-campus undergrads who’ve been infected is higher, in the range of 10%.

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