UCF reports record spike in new coronavirus cases this week

UCF reports record spike in new coronavirus cases this week
Photo courtesy UCF/Facebook
University of Central Florida released a public statement on Monday informing the student body that the school's reported positive student cases of COVID-19 have more than doubled last week's numbers.

The statement, penned by Associate Vice President of UCF Student Health Services Dr. Michael Deichen, in part stated that "eating and drinking in indoor social settings like bars, restaurants and gatherings without face coverings is where our [contact] tracers find most of our new positive cases."

Knight News reported that the actual number of this "more than doubling" was a record 218 new coronavirus cases reported among students and staff in the past week. This is "the highest recorded case count in a weekly update since UCF has recorded COVID-19 numbers."

The numbers can be viewed in more granular detail on the UCF coronavirus dashboard.

Dr. Deichen urged students to avoid such activities unless masks are worn and physical distancing is in place. But physical distancing has been even more difficult for students venturing off-campus since Gov. Ron DeSantis put Florida in Phase 3 of a rushed reopening in late September.

And given DeSantis' bellicosity and Trump-mimicking (in between giving maskless high-fives to the crowd) on Monday night at the Trump rally in Sanford – “We’re not going to let them shut our schools. We’re not going to let them close our businesses,” ranted DeSantis against Democrats at one point – students and faculty are pretty much on their own out there.

Besides the reminder to "continue to wear face coverings, wash our hands, maintain physical distancing, and avoid large gatherings," there were no new plans offered to address this somewhat worrying spike in numbers. In mid-September, UCF began random coronavirus testing on campus, starting with a group of students in fraternities and sororities, to help track and contain potential outbreaks, and that program will continue through the remainder of the fall semester.

Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and please support this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.
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