DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The University of Dayton is reporting nearly 400 active COVID cases on their campus currently. Because of the quick spread and need for contact tracers to collect data, school officials have placed the campus on a Level 4- Red – Warning designation until the spread slows. This means that students will now only be able to get campus dining through ‘grab-and-go’ and students are being asked to restrict their off-campus visits in addition to refrain from visiting other students’ dorms and homes.
UD President, Eric Spina, says he has heard from most students that they want to stay on campus. He says he is hoping these latest restrictions slow the spread of the virus to keep administration from making the decision to send students home.
President Spina also says the latest positive case numbers are coming from off-campus activities of both social and educational nature that happened more than a week ago.
“There’s a latency period…so what we’re testing now really was infected some time ago,” he explained. “We’ve been so aggressive about testing around the clusters we’ve identified, its not surprising that we’ve seen more positive [cases].”
Dr. Steven Burdette, UD COVID-19 Medical Advisory Panel chair; professor of internal medicine;and medical director of infection control at Miami Valley Hospital, says it’s important for students to wear masks, avoid meeting with students who don’t live in their dorms or homes, and meet outdoors if necessary.
“If you want to finish the year on campus you have to mask, you have to socially distance. If [the] virus continues to spread uncontrolled at universities they’re going to send everyone home and people will learn from their basement, from their bedroom,” warned Dr. Burdette. “If [students] live in a house with six other people, it really should just be the people in that house that are getting together.”
“Our students are now peer influencing each other. I think that’s the best way to do it. They’re not all going to listen to me but they will listen to each other,” said Spina.