The University of Delaware detected a spike in COVID-19 cases among students this week. The school is beefing up safety precautions in response.
UD reports more than 150 cases of the virus among students in just the past few days. That’s more than the school has seen in any other week so far this school year—even during a peak last fall.
The school announced Wednesday night that dining halls are now take-out only, and fewer people are allowed in the sports center at one time. No guests are permitted in residence halls, and students were reminded to follow capacity limits.
UD spokesman Peter Kerwin says these actions are based on where the school thinks the cases are coming from.
“Through our student contact tracing, that kind of led us to look at what was happening in dining halls and off-campus gatherings, and those were two really significant sources of spread,” Kerwin said.
The school has not moved all courses online yet — but will consider doing so if cases continue to rise.
Roughly three times as many students are living on campus this semester as were last fall, and the University says it’s now conducting about three times the weekly COVID tests.
Students on campus are required to be tested once a week now, and those living off campus are encouraged to do the same through testing options outside the University. Off-campus students are also randomly selected for testing through the University.
“Unfortunately since we are processing the tests in-house, we max out at 6,000 tests per week,” said UD spokeswoman Andrea Boyle Tippett. “That said, there are several options for testing available to off-campus students through UD’s partnerships with the state and county.”
Tippett adds that the state and county each host weekly testing events on campus.