COVID cases declining at University of Dayton, public health says it’s too early to call it a trend

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – More than 1,100 people at the University of Dayton have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in recent weeks. The numbers show cases are on the decline, but health officials say it’s too early to know if that’s a trend.

Because of the pandemic, Labor Day was designated a class day and the day before Thanksgiving will be used as a holiday. This also helped keep the students on campus, and even if some students did celebrate, Public Health Dayton-Montgomery County said they won’t be able to see cases related to the holiday weekend for a number of days.

Jaylee Sowders is a freshman and said her first semester at college has been strange. She was initially worried about the number of COVID-19 cases on campus but she said students, for the most part, are following the rules.

“They have just really been pushing to want to stay on campus as you can imagine, so they can keep being in their houses with their friends,” said Sowders. “So they’ve really been taking the initiative to keep people here.”

The University is still at a status four red warning and undergraduate classes will be held remotely until September 14. New cases are down with the latest report showing just eight new cases and that 920 people have recovered.

But Dan Suffoletto with PHDMC said it’s too early to call it a trend.

“Over the last few days, we’ve seen a slight decrease in number of cases on UD’s campus, however we need to remember there’s a 14-day incubation period for COVID, so you have up to 14 days to look at any trends,” said Suffoletto. “So right now, the numbers are slightly down, but we need a longer time to see if those numbers can be sustained.”

Sowders said the university is planning social activities via zoom and has opened the rec centers but she’s a music major and said she’s hopeful they can switch to in-person learning sooner rather than later.

“Having online classes is definitely not ideal for any ensemble or musical setting,” said Sowders. “So I personally am really looking forward to meeting people in person and actually building more friendships because friendships over zoom is a challenge for sure.”

UD declined our request for further comment but did tell 2 NEWS, they will make a decision about in-person versus online learning based on overall trends, so they will need more than just a few days of data.

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