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COVID-19 cases in students and faculty drop over weekend to average of two new cases per day – The Cavalier Daily

The weekly average of COVID-19 cases per day for both students and faculty precipitously declined through the weekend, with an average of two cases per day reported Friday through Sunday. There are a total of 94 individuals currently hospitalized for COVID-19 at U.Va. Health.

There are 221 active cases of COVID-19 within the University community, 110 of which are students and 111 of which are faculty and staff, per the University’s COVID-19 tracker.

Both of the new cases of COVID-19 reported over the weekend were student cases. No faculty or staff member tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend through U.Va. Health.

The seven-day average positivity rate this weekend was 11.09 percent. The seven-day average positivity rate among faculty and staff Monday — 15.73 percent — remains nearly double the 8.50 percent rate for students.

The seven-day average of individuals tested per day was 25.29 Sunday, with two tests administered Sunday and two administered Saturday. U.Va. Health has administered 477,580 tests since the tracker started recording data in Aug. 2020. This number only includes tests administered through U.Va. Health or LetsGetChecked and does not take into account other tests.

Ten patients were admitted to U.Va. Health with COVID-19 over the weekend, dropping the current total of COVID-19 hospitalizations to 94. The seven-day average for new hospitalizations as of Sunday was 17.57.

The University is currently at two percent occupancy for isolation rooms, reserved for those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

In order to return to residential learning, students were required to either submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a booster shot or provide documentation of an approved medical or religious exemption. Attorney General Jason Miyares issued an advisory opinion Friday holding that public universities cannot mandate COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students as a condition of enrollment. University President Jim Ryan addressed the opinion in a University-wide email Monday, adding that the advisory opinion does not hold the same force of law.

Over 99 percent of students have already complied with the University’s vaccination requirements, Ryan said, noting that University leadership decided to leave enrolled students who have not yet compiled with vaccine mandates.

“Because we have such a small number of students who have not yet received the booster, we decided early last week – based on the advice of our student team – that we will not disenroll students who have not yet received their booster, but will continue to encourage them to do so,” Ryan said.

Following the Jan. 14 deadline for students and employees to submit either proof of vaccination or proof of a medical or religious exemption, 99 percent of students are fully vaccinated while 85 percent of employees have received booster shots.

While the University previously required all faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated — and the University announced a booster requirement prior to the start of the spring semester, the University will no longer require faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, per an email sent Jan. 19 to University employees by Ryan, Provost Liz Magill, Chief Operation Officer JJ Davis and K. Craig Kent, executive vice president for health.

In the Blue Ridge Health District, 72.5 percent of individuals have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 65.9 percent of individuals are fully vaccinated. In addition to those fully vaccinated, 36.3 percent have been vaccinated with a third booster dose.

New public health measures in effect this semester include a temporary ban on all food and beverages at University-affiliated events, a mandatory five-day isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19 in accordance with updated Center for Disease Control guidance and a continuation of the mask mandate for all indoor spaces. University leadership will provide an update on these policies by the end of the week.

Asymptomatic testing is currently located in the basement of Newcomb Hall by appointment only Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8 am through 4:30 pm and Wednesday 7:30 am through 4:30 pm Asymptomatic employee testing is available at the Jefferson Park Medical Office Building on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 am through 9 am Students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should schedule testing through their HealthyHoos portal, whereas faculty members experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms should contact Employee Health.

The University’s COVID-19 tracker is updated every weekday at 4 pm

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