Editor’s note: This story is part of The Daily Texan’s coverage of how coronavirus concerns are affecting UT-Austin. Read the rest of our coverage here.
UT will now refer to Travis County for overall COVID-19 numbers instead of tracking the number of student cases, as the University cannot reliably report on cases outside of Austin, UT spokesperson J.B. Bird said.
Because many students have already left campus, Bird said the University does not have a way to track cases outside of Austin. These cases are instead reported to local public health authorities, and University students would not be given an identifying designation for UT, he said.
“The disease is being tracked where people are now, and our students are dispersed around the state,” Bird said. “We do not have a way to say with certainty that a student who’s in El Paso is going to show up in our numbers.”
Bird said the University will continue to track cases of students, staff and faculty still on campus and in the Austin community. Currently, there are four confirmed coronavirus cases related to the University, he said. Travis County has 206 confirmed cases as of publication.
“We’re aware of any cases on campus,” Bird said. “There are additional student cases we’re aware of.”
According to the city of Austin, 28 young adults returning from a spring break trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, tested positive for COVID-19. Bird said some of those returning were UT students, and the University is aware of those cases.