COVID-19 Dashboard Update: Only 3 Positive Cases Reported After Mandatory Testing
On Sept. 7 Furman Focused released an email with the results of Friday’s mandatory COVID-19 testing: of 1,254 students, only three tested positive. The email praised the compliance of students on campus and looked optimistically towards the arrival of the second- and third-year students returning between September 11-13.
Dr. John Wheeler of the Public Health and Safety Advisory Group also praised the student body, stating that “with the exception of the off-campus parties, our total positive cases dating back to the first-year students’ arrival is right around 0.5%.” However, Wheeler warns students that continued adherence to the Paladin Promise is essential with the return of second- and third-year students, which will result in “increased interactions, greater opportunity for viral transmission, and less spaces to isolate and/or quarantine on campus.”
Despite the 0.24% positive rate from this past weekend, Wheeler says Furman is committed following guidelines set by CDC, SC DHEC, and on-campus clinicians and health experts. Wheeler does not anticipate any loosened restrictions, stating, “face coverings and physical distancing likely will not be adjusted in any significant way until there is a vaccine or the virus effectively disappears, which seems unlikely by Thanksgiving.”
“The low positive rate is a direct result of student behaviors,” Wheeler elaborates. “We have known this to be the key for our success or failure since the beginning.” With low disease prevalence, decreased reports of non-compliance, and the number of LiveSafe daily health surveys increasing over time, it is evident that the Furman Community is working together through the COVID-19 crisis. It is with this continued behavior that Wheeler says the Furman community can assist in keeping the virus away from campus. By continuing to “do what we are doing” returning students should be able to adapt to the current behaviors on campus in an effort to keep the community safe.
Overall, Wheeler was optimistic about the results but repeatedly stressed the importance of continuing to comply with Paladin Promise rules.