COVID-19 Dashboard Update: More Students But the Same Number of Cases
Furman University’s COVID-19 Dashboard is the first real reflection of caseload on Furman’s campus following the return of second- and third- year students last weekend (Sept. 11 – Sept. 13)
The Sept. 21 update to Furman University’s COVID-19 Dashboard is the first real reflection of caseload on Furman’s campus following the return of second- and third- year students last weekend (Sept. 11 – Sept. 13), which drastically increased the student body’s density.
The updated Dashboard was less dramatic, revealing the same number of new positive student cases confirmed by the Earle Student Health Center despite a slight increase in testing, the first confirmed case of an employee on campus, and some good news on Greenville County’s case numbers.
The data indicates that 19 on-campus students were tested since Sept. 14, an increase from the 13 on-campus students that were tested during the previous weekly period (Sept. 7-Sept. 13). With one test result pending, this week revealed 8 new student cases, the same figure as last week. That more tests were administered but the same number of positive cases were observed suggests a decreasing positivity rate among tests administered by campus officials.
Of the 29 students in quarantine this week (4 more than the previous period) more students elected to quarantine off campus. This allowed the available on-campus quarantine space available to remain relatively unchanged. This week’s uptick in quarantined students is potentially due to a small breakout on the football team, as reported by The Paladin on Sept. 18.
This week’s Dashboard also showed an adjustment to the employee data from the previous week, revealing the first positive employee test since the beginning of the semester.
Additionally, the Dashboard shared updated Greenville County disease metrics. Per the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), the two-week cumulative incidence rate has decreased, indicating a reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks. Similarly, the two-week percent positive rate, which reflects the percentage of individuals who tested positive out of those tested, declined from 15.1% to 14.7%, but is still classified as “high” by the SC DHEC. The acute hospital bed occupancy in the Upstate has also decreased slightly. Despite these general improvements in disease metrics for Greenville County, the trend in cumulative incidence rate is still increasing.
Overall, the arrival of second- and third-year students and the subsequent increase in population density on campus appears to have led to a slight uptick in cases but not the dramatic spike in cases that some were fearing.