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UPDATE: 116 new positive COVID-19 cases announced at University of Dayton

Dayton, OH #dayton-oh – The University of Dayton announces 116 new positive coronavirus cases on Friday, according to their COVID-19 landing page.

The cases are students and it brings the total active COVID-19 cases to 496.

The University of Dayton has 380 active coronavirus cases on its campus and 148 of those cases were reported to the university in a single day, prompting the university to elevate its coronavirus campus level to “warning,”

“Sometime last week we did identify that we had a few clusters that had formed on campus,” said University President Eric Spina. “I think it’s important first of all to recognize that there’s a latency period here so whatever we are seeing now really the cause was 7-10 days ago.”

>> Elevated number of COVID-19 cases prompts University of Dayton to extend remote learning

Students moved into campus housing in early August, however classes didn’t begin until this week. UD officials first raised the coronavirus level on campus to Level 2 on Aug. 20 after cases first started to rise and moved to remote learning Sunday. They also increased testing on campus with two testing sites on campus.

“We now have, since early this week, we have two sites on campus. One for students who are symptomatic and one for students who are not,” Spina said.

The rise in cases at UD coincides with Montgomery County’s return to the Red Level 3 status under the state’s health advisory system. The indicator under the state’s health advisory system that moved Montgomery back into the red category from orange this week was the new cases indicator, which is triggered when a county has had an average of 50 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period.

“They do play a factor, but its not the only factor,” Dan Suffoletto, spokesman for Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County, said of UD’s recent cases.

Suffoletto said some, but not all, of the UD cases are counted as cases for Montgomery County.

First-year students and freshmen on campus that test positive have their results included in their permanent residence county, while returning students to campus have their positive test results reported as part of Montgomery County’s count, Suffoletto said. Commuter students also have their test results reported to the county of their permanent residence.

Spina said the campus is expecting the high-daily case counts to continue.

“We do expect because we have been so aggressive with our testing to define the edges of these clusters, that we are going to see high numbers for a little bit,” the President said. “We certainly are hopeful that we identify the people infected and find the edges of the clusters that hopefully the numbers will plateau and begin to come down,”

Suffoletto said Public Health believes the UD cases mostly have been confined to campus based on contact tracing work that has been done.

For now, the university, as part of its move to ’warning’ level, has closed dining halls for seating, the chapel and other places like the Rec Plex, where students may congregate.

“We give our students a lot of credit, you see them on campus and they are walking alone outside and they are wearing masks,” Spina said. “There is no doubt that our students want to be on campus. I’m confident they will do the right thing to stay there.”

The university hopes to ease restrictions as cases come down.

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