COVID-19 Dashboard Update: Random Testing Begins

The updated dashboard included more tests than previous weeks, but not many more positive cases.

Furman began random asymptomatic testing on Sept. 29 Unsplash

The Oct. 5 COVID-19 Dashboard reflects the first results of random asymptomatic testing, which began on Sept. 29.  

Between random and symptomatic tests, the university administered 414 total COVID-19 tests. However, the Earle Student Health Center confirmed only 10 positive cases for a positivity rate of 2.4%. For context, the week of Sept. 21-27, when the University was only performing symptomatic tests, 12 tests were administered and 4 came back positive, resulting in a positivity rate of 33.3%.

Due to the increased number of positive cases, 49 students are currently in quarantine, compared with 27 last week. Only 16 of the 49, however, are isolated on campus. As a result, on-campus quarantine occupancy only increased to 11% from 8% last week.

In addition to the 414 student tests, four employee tests were administered, resulting in one positive case.

Beyond Furman, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) released new disease metrics, showing that the two-week cumulative incidence rate in Greenville County has decreased from 199 to 170 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 individuals. This week also revealed the first decreasing trend in cumulative incidence rate since the Dashboard added DHEC metrics on Sept. 14.  

Greenville County’s two-week percent positive rate has decreased, but only to 11.4%, which is still classified as “high.” Despite overall improvements, the acute hospital bed occupancy in the Upstate has remained at 73%.

In sum, despite an increase in tests administered, there is still a low positivity rate among Furman students. However, given the persistent prevalence of COVID-19 in the Greenville area, university officials continue to emphasize compliance with health and safety guidelines in order to maintain available spaces for on-campus quarantining and isolation.

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