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Kate Vanni

Garbage bags full of tissues sit outside of UVM’s COVID testing center March 4.

UVM reports highest COVID-19 case count of semester, Vermont reports highest case count since start of pandemic 

October 20, 2021

UVM  reported its highest COVID-19 case count of the semester last week, Oct. 11-17, according to an Oct.19 email from Patricia Prelock, provost and senior vice president. 

The University reported 47 off-campus cases last week, 7.8 times more than the previous week’s numbers for off-campus students, according to UVM’s weekly testing data. The same week, the state of Vermont reached an all-time high of new COVID-19 cases, according to the email. 

The state reported 3,153 new cases in the last 14 days and Chittenden County saw 600 new cases in the last 14 days , according to the Vermont case dashboard.   

Results for UVM’s on-campus students saw an increase between the weeks of Oct. 4 and Oct. 11, jumping from one positive test to 13, according to UVM’s data.  Positive COVID-19 tests among faculty and staff have remained at one per week since Oct. 4. 

“The recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases is not traced to a single event,” Prelock’s email stated. “Rather, it is the result of small gatherings […] where people are not wearing masks.” 

The email stated the impact of the Delta variant is very real and highly contagious. However, there is no evidence to suggest the spread is occurring in classrooms, according to the email. 

The rates of positive COVID-19 tests among students had been declining since the week of Sept. 6, up until last week, according to the Cynic’s COVID-19 snapshot

“This week’s results are a good reminder that COVID-19 still presents a risk to all of us, and that we must remain committed to the health and safety measures we know work,” the email stated. 

Students are advised to wear a mask and get tested before and after travel, as well as limit non-essential travel, gatherings and interaction if symptomatic, according to the email. 

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