University of Arkansas sees drop in COVID-19 cases

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Right now there are just over 300 active cases of the virus in the campus community, a decrease of almost 600 cases since last week.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Active COVID-19 cases on the University of Arkansas campus dramatically drop.

Right now there are just over 300 active cases of the virus in the campus community, a decrease of almost 600 cases last week.

One reason could be the rate of recovery.

After 10 days, the school automatically chalks up a positive case to a recovered one.

But, others say it could just be because students and faculty are starting to actually follow the safety guidelines on campus.

“While this decline in cases is great to see, I don’t think we really know what’s going on with COVID-19 on campus,” said Bret Schulte, the president of the Local 965.

The University of Arkansas’ COVID-19 dashboard showed 305 positive cases of the virus on campus Thursday.

But Schulte questions just how accurate these numbers are.

“We don’t have enough testing on campus right now to really know what our positivity rate is,” he said.

He said its not necessarily the university’s fault, but rather a lack of reporting by students.

“I’ve heard the rumor that greek houses are sending people out of the county or even out of the state to get tested to keep the numbers on campus low,” said Schulte.

John Thomas, the manager of university communications said, “We don’t want them to think there is a stigma to being tested, there is no punishment for having a positive test.”

Thomas said 10 days after a positive test is reported, it’s automatically changed to recovered.

This is in accordance to guidance from the Department of Health.

“I think our university and our campus have done a really good job of communicating the guidelines we’ve put on place for when on campus,” Thomas said. “You know social distancing, mask wearing, frequent hand washing.”

Both Thomas and Schulte agree that no matter what the numbers are, it’s imperative to keep following the guidelines and stay vigilant.

“We think that’s a really good sign obviously but that doesn’t mean the threats over or the pandemic is going away,” said Thomas.

Friday is the last day of the two week ban of on-campus activities.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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