UT reports 42 positive COVID-19 student cases Wednesday, up from 17 the day before

Coronavirus
first day of classes fall 2020 ut-austin

(KXAN Photo/Alyssa Goard)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — According to the school’s COVID-19 dashboard, the University of Texas at Austin reported 42 positive COVID-19 cases in students Wednesday, a significant jump from the 17 reported the day prior.

Also for Wednesday, Travis County reported 59 new COVID-19 cases. On the surface, it appears that 71% of the county’s COVID-19 cases for the day came UT, but that may not be the case. Austin Public Health said while all cases in the county, including those at UT, are included in total case counts, the agency can’t necessarily tell when the UT cases showed up in counts.

“We cannot be certain exactly what date the positives for UT students would have showed up in the case count,” APH said. The agency also said it couldn’t speak to the breakdown of cases by specific source.

On the UT dashboard, eight cases were reported in students from Aug. 27-28, four on both days, then no cases were reported until Aug. 31.

University Health Services released a statement on the number of COVID-19 cases Thursday:

“Some of these numbers reflect case increases the university anticipated as students arrived in Austin. The numbers also appear to reflect increased local transmission since the start of classes. This underscores how vital it is for all members of our community to comply with health protocols and with local and state orders on gatherings and social distancing. This is especially critical at this early stage in the semester and heading into the Labor Day weekend, as people make important health decisions about gathering with friends and family. Anyone who has had difficulty being consistent with safe social distancing, masking or other preventive measures should be especially cautious about visiting loved ones or other people vulnerable to the disease over the holiday.”

UHS also encouraged students to get tested and reminded them testing is offered for free on campus.

Students started returning to campus to move into residence halls Aug. 17 and the first day of both virtual and in-person classes Aug. 26.

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