COVID-19 cases hitting close to home for University of Arkansas students

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – New cases of COVID-19 confirmed on the University of Arkansas campus as students move into quarantine and isolation rooms.

According to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard as of August 30th, there are 151 new positive cases overall. Six of those are on campus.

Students on campus say people in their dorm testing positive for the virus makes it hit much closer to home.

One of those students is Ethan St. John, who is a freshman at the University of Arkansas.

“It’s a little concerning but I’m not really surprised… I think a lot of people are bound to get it eventually,” St. John said.

The University of Arkansas cannot give much information about who has tested positive but, university spokesman, Mark Rushing says some of those people remain at the school.

The university set aside 260 rooms across the housing system to isolate or quarantine students as needed.

Freshman, Bryce Adair says, “In terms of what they’re doing for precautions they’re keeping it really safe for students and they’re trying to keep a good learning environment for everyone.”

As for whether 260 beds will be enough for students if cases continue to rise, Rushing says school leaders feel comfortable with the amount of space because a majority of students getting the virus live off campus or can go home to isolate for 14 days.

“You have to keep in mind that most quarantining and isolation would actually occur off campus because the majority of campus population, students faculty and staff live off campus,” Rushing said.

The university also has a COVID-19 response team that is devoted to tracking cases and addressing concerns as they pop up.

Rushing says the U of A is doing its best to adhere to safety guidelines on campus.

“Really what it comes down to at this point is individual behavior,” he said. “The individual behavior of every student, faculty and staff member on our campus will really dictate how the rest of this semester goes.”

Adair agrees that it is up to students to follow protocols to ensure as much safety on campus as possible.


“Even though they put the right preliminary measures in for keeping a mask on and what not, not everyone’s gonna do that, that’s just how people are,” he said. “I’m not really that worried in terms of catching it just because I know my university is taking the right steps.”

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