ODU Tracks First COVID Cases

By Carly Herbert | New Editor

Almost two weeks ago Old Dominion University tracked its first on-campus cases of COVID-19, documenting 16 cases. This past week those numbers jumped to 51 cases out of 1,683 total tested. Each week on Mondays, the University updates its Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified COVID-19 tracking dashboard to publicize the number of cases on campus.

This past weekend, the dashboard underwent an update to make it more user-friendly and easy to read. In addition to displaying the number of cases and tests, the tracker also shows information related to the amount of designated quarantine and isolation space available as well as the number of cases that have been asymptomatic.

This increase in cases comes after Governor Northam lifted the Phase 2 Protocol that had been placed on Hampton Roads on Jul. 28, after seeing a highly concentrated increase in positive tests in the area. As of Sep. 11, the Hampton Roads area rejoined the rest of Virginia in the Phase 3 stage of reopening. In this stage, non-essential retail and dining locations are allowed to re-open at long as they adhere to physical distancing, entertainment venues can open with 50 percent capacity, and fitness and exercise facilities can open at 75 percent capacity.

With Phase 3, masks are still required as well as maintaining physical distance and staying home if you have any symptoms or are feeling sick.

ODU has created an online self-reporting portal for students, which is accessible at the top of the myODU homepage (in red) or through the daily emails that are sent out to all faculty and staff each morning. The self-reporting system asks whether you have experienced any possible symptoms or been in contact with any person who is sick, then gives you a colored circle with the status of the COVID report.

Red, orange, and yellow circles indicate that you should stay home, monitor your symptoms, and participate in self-quarantining (to various degrees based on the color of your circle). The only way to attend class, enter the Student Recreation Center, or Perry Library is to present a green circle, indicating that you are healthy and safe to be amongst other members of the ODU community.

ODU’s cases are still relatively low, compared to other colleges in the states such as James Madison University and Radford University, where the number of cases is well reaching 100. However, Hampton Roads and the surrounding area are still tracking an increase in positive cases, averagings around 15 new cases per day, so it’s important that students are adhering to all guidelines administered by the school and by the state in order to keep themselves and those around them safe.

Photo from governor.virginia.gov.