Friday marks 11 months of the COVID-19 pandemic reaching Burlington. While officials applaud vaccine distribution so far, they’re monitoring cases in higher ed. The University of Vermont reported nearly 80 cases among students and faculty in the first two weeks of the spring semester. 46 students tested positive within one week.
“Right now from our perspective, this number 46 students out of 10,000 is a very very low positivity rate and lower than the state average,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “so we’re seeing it from that context.”
There were only 91 total cases campus-wide in the entire fall semester. But UVM V-P of public safety Gary Derr says they were preparing for more cases this term.
“We fully expected that,” he said. “It is mirroring the trends in Chittendedn County, Vermont, and across New England. We’re confident in those numbers, we feel we have them under control.”
Derr says they have not seen the UK variant on campus and that 60% of the new cases came from students who were already in quarantine.
“These are students that were not out there part of the population and out on campus,” he said. “They were already in quarantine because of exposure by a close contact, and now they’ve been moved to isolation.”
UVM continues to test about 12,000 students each week.