UT-Austin surpasses 1,000 reported COVID-19 cases since March

Amanda Figueroa-Nieves

UT has reported a total of 1,117 COVID-19 cases since March 1, including over 600 cases since classes started Aug. 26, according to the UT COVID-19 dashboard as of Thursday afternoon. 

The University added 104 cases retroactively Thursday from self-reported cases and positive results sent by Austin Public Health from UT community members who were tested off campus, according to a dashboard update. No new cases have been reported on Thursday, according to the dashboard.

“Given the serious health concerns of the virus, any number of positive cases is a concern, and we are committed to working together as a community through testing, tracing, isolating and public health measures to limit the spread,” University spokesperson J.B. Bird said.

Of 1,198 students tested before the Sept. 12 football game against UT-El Paso, 95 tested positive and 1,103 tested negative, according to a University announcement. Sixty-nine of these were new results. 

“Some of the positive results were people with previously reported cases, already counted on our dashboard, who were still testing positive but are no longer infectious, which is a known result with some tests,” the announcement said. 

The University previously reported three coronavirus clusters with collectively about 100 positive cases in West Campus on Sept. 10. The University declined to release the addresses of the clusters, citing privacy laws, according to previous reporting by The Daily Texan

The dashboard does not display the number of active cases. Susan Hochman, associate director for assessment, communications and health information technology for University Health Services, said community members can refer to the number of cases in the last 10 days for a general sense of the number of active cases. She said this is not a precise measurement since some cases are reported after the onset of symptoms, and some people experience symptoms for more than 10 days. 

“Active cases is not a metric the University’s medical and contact tracing teams rely on for their work, but the University continues to discuss ways to refine and improve the dashboard’s public health utility and can review the idea of listing active cases, as some dashboards do,” Hochman said.

In the last 10 days, UT has reported 255 cases, according to the dashboard. No new clusters have been reported by the University since Sept. 10. 

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from UT and information about cases reported in the last 10 days.