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UNR reports more than 300 COVID-19 cases in one month

By Jeri Davis
University of Nevada, Reno. Image: Bob Conrad

An additional four cases of COVID-19 at the University of Nevada, Reno, were confirmed on Sept. 27, bringing the cumulative total of cases to 313 in September. Of these cases, 298 were among students, and 15 were among faculty and staff.

September’s numbers mark an increase in the rate of cases being reported. A total of 371 cases of COVID-19 have been reported on campus since June 30.

The university lists all of this information as well as resources for faculty, staff and students on its website. The resources include reporting guidelines for both students and UNR staff.

Dr. Cheryl Hug-English

Dr. Cheryl Hug-English is the director of UNR’s Student Health Center, which manages tracking COVID-19 cases on campus and helps facilitate the care of students who contract the disease. The center also helps with contact tracing through the Washoe County Health District.

“We’re trying to be as transparent as possible,” she said of reporting cases. “We’re updating those numbers on a daily basis.”

People who’ve checked UNR’s COVID-19 page on its website may have noticed that the number of cases reported for each day is often updated. According to Hug-English, that’s a result of reporting delays.

“So, it’s not on end, and, as I said, we report every day,” she said. “There are more testing sites available in the community. Walgreens is one of those that has become very popular. If, for example, a student tests at Walgreens, that report may not make its way to the Washoe County Health District and then to me for several days, or a week later. So, when I get that data—again, to be as transparent as possible, I put that in.”

The university has set aside dormitory space for students who test positive for COVID-19 to use during the necessary isolation period following their positive test results. Hug-English said there are currently 30 students in isolation in those dorm rooms. An additional 45 students who’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, but have not tested positive themselves, are self-quarantining in their own dorm rooms

Hug-English noted that while nearly 75% of the university’s classes are fully online, there are still faculty and students on campus, and the Student Health Center has a role to play in aiding the Health District with contact tracing when someone who’s been on campus tests positive for COVID-19. While most of the contact tracing process falls to the health district, the Student Health Center does its best to figure out where on campus COVID-positive people have been and pass that information along.

In addition to information about COVID-19 cases on campus, UNR’s COVID-19 resources include separate webpages for faculty and students to learn about things ranging from where to get tested to how classrooms are being disinfected. There’s also a webpage containing messages from university administrators regarding coronavirus and the school’s response to it.

Read more news about COVID-19 in Reno


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