Data DL: Small Uptick in Active Cases, Continued Vigilance November 3, 2020
For most of the last several weeks, the numbers of active cases of COVID-19 have been declining at the University of Kentucky. That’s the result of our community’s commitment to healthy behaviors, protecting and respecting others and following the advice of public health experts.
It’s also a testament to the modern public health infrastructure we’ve built on our campus.
However, this past week we experienced, for the first time in several weeks, a small uptick in new cases. That’s not entirely surprising, given the surge in incidence rates in Fayette County and Kentucky over the last several weeks.
At the same time, it’s important to put these numbers in perspective. The seven-day average of active cases in the UK community last week (Oct. 26- Nov. 1) was 128. For comparison, during the week of Sept. 14-20, that number was 474. In other words, our number of active cases is about a quarter of what it was approximately a month ago.
These data underscore our cautious optimism that the virus can be contained, and risk can be mitigated when a campus creates the infrastructure for—and a community commits to— healthy, safe and responsible behaviors.
Perhaps even more telling, though, is the following chart. It shows the seven-day averages of active and new cases for each week at UK, beginning Aug. 31.
Of course, we are closely monitoring those numbers – on our campus and in the broader community.
At this point, we believe, and our data indicate, that our continued interventions – ongoing randomized and wastewater testing, daily screening, robust contact tracing and wellness support for students and expanded flu vaccinations – are mitigating and managing virus spread.
Our most important principle in operating our campus this fall has been — and will remain — the health, safety and well-being of our entire community. To that end, we’ve continued to work closely with health officials on the practices we have put in place. Some specific aspects of our ongoing response that speak to the precautions we are taking include:
- For our football game this past weekend, we continued to utilize appropriate protocols to enhance health and safety – significantly reduced capacity, physical distancing and mask wearing, along with several additional measures.
- On campus, we have reinforced with supervisors and managers the importance of remote work as an option where possible and continued healthy at work protocols when people need to be on campus.
- With our students, we also are reinforcing the need to follow healthy behaviors in all that they do – on campus and off.
We are pleased with our progress, as a campus, working together. We will continue to do everything necessary to protect health and safety of our entire community.