When Auburn University released its newest data from its COVID-19 testing Monday, it showed that the number of positive cases has multiplied more than five times.
In the week of August 15-21, it recorded 208 total positive cases, up from 41 the week before. Out of the positive cases, 203 were students while five were employees. All but one of the cases are at Auburn’s main campus. The other one is a student who tested positive at the AU Airport.
“Not unlike other campuses throughout the nation, Auburn anticipated that its COVID-19 positive case numbers would likely increase as students returned for the fall semester,” said Dr. Fred Kam, Auburn University’s Medical Clinic Director. “The majority of students who tested positive had not attended any in-person classes, and the few who did were all wearing masks and had been socially distancing.”
The data does not include results from the re-entry testing program according to Auburn’s website. Those results won’t be added until all of the re-entry testing is finished and the receipts for all the results are in. Individuals who test positive are only counted once, so if they were positive from the week of August 8-14, they were not counted in the most recent results.
Auburn did not report how many tests it has given out. According to Kam, no hospitalizations were required among the positive cases, and Auburn’s quarantine dorms are less than half full.
Since Auburn started testing on March 16, it has had 557 cases. 545 of those were at the main campus while 10 were at the airport, one was at Harris Early Learning Center in Birmingham and another was at the pharmacy school in Mobile.
The numbers reported Monday came after the first weekend students returned to Auburn when many were seen hitting the bars. However, the tests were taken before the weekend of August 22-23, during which hundreds of students were packed into the bars, prompting Auburn University to start an investigation. Auburn City Mayor Ron Anders commented that it is a fluid situation, and the city is considering its options.
As of Monday, Auburn is still holding some in-person instruction.
“We will closely monitor the number of positive cases in a proactive way that helps guide university policy with the health and well-being of the Auburn community always the top priority,” Kam said.
AL.com reporter Tom Green contributed to this article.
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