Three positive COVID-19 cases emerge from on-campus housing

Three positive COVID-19 cases emerge from on-campus housing

Photo Credits: AGGIE FILE

Testing currently offered to students living in housing managed by Student Housing, sorority or fraternity housing, The Green at West Village, student firefighters, EMTs 

The university confirmed that three students living on campus had tested positive for COVID-19 for the week of Sept. 28, according to CBS Sacramento and KCRA. When recently asked about these students, Associate Vice Chancellor for Housing, Dining and Divisional Operations Mike Sheehan said via email that “there were no positive cases found last week and there is now only one person still in isolation on campus.” 

Sheehan neglected to comment on why the broader UC Davis community was uninformed about these students, and said that Student Housing and Dining Services “outreach to possible contacts and determine the level of risk for spread.”

Students living on campus “can be expected” to complete weekly testing throughout the quarter. These tests are conducted at a COVID-19 screening kiosk in the Pavilion parking structure, where a saliva sample or nasal swab is collected. Results are texted or emailed within 48 hours. 

According to the UC Davis website, “everyone — students, employees, visitors — must complete a Daily Symptom Survey before entering a university-managed facility.” Individuals are expected to provide a screenshot or a print-out of their survey results, as it dictates whether they are approved to enter campus facilities or not. 

UC Davis is launching a rapid screening and testing program in response to COVID-19. At the moment, however, testing is available only for certain students and employees who are asymptomatic. Students displaying COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to contact Student Health and Counseling Services or their doctor, while employees are urged to contact Occupational Health or their doctor.

At the ASUCD Senate Meeting on Oct. 1, Chancellor Gary May said that a recent student survey revealed that out of approximately 23,000 to 25,000 students, around half of undergraduates and 70% of graduate students said they were planning on living close to campus or on campus. 

More specifically, about 2,650 students are expected to live in campus housing this fall, with about 1,800 students residing in residence halls and 800 in student housing apartments.

“We have increased safety measures in place for those living on campus,” May said at the Senate meeting. “This includes increased sanitization procedures, monitoring symptoms on a daily basis, testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine. We’re hiring a team of undergraduates […] to provide community education and outreach on campus.”

Data from the week of Oct. 5 states that 1,919 COVID-19 tests have been conducted on campus. This number is defined to be “the total weekly count of asymptomatic COVID-19 tests conducted through the Davis campus COVID-19 Screening Program,” according to the UC Davis website

Written by: Aarya Gupta — campus@theaggie.org