COVID-19 on campus

Today my freshman son received an e-mail blast (to all students apparently) advising that in the first two days of move-in testing, only 11 positive cases out of 847 move-in students. However it turns out that one of the positive cases is a suitemate of his (learned from the suitemate). We are scheduled for move-in this Sunday. I will be following-up with Student Health Services and Housing tomorrow to make sure the protocols are being followed (like prompt testing for the other two suitemates who are friends of the positive case, and moved in together, as well as separate quarantine for the usual period, and communication to my son). I’ll share insights on how the protocols are actually executed, in this thread.

Thanks James!

James, I got the email forwarded from my daughter and have one correction and a little additional info to add.

The correction is there were 837 tests reported, with 11 positives. That is only 1.3% which is an astonishingly low number.

The tests were conducted Saturday and Sunday (8/8-9) and results are coming back within 48 hours.

When testing positive, students are encouraged to return home to isolate and contact-tracing is done. Positive students who remain on campus will be moved to special dorm rooms for isolation.

Update: This morning I spoke with the 2nd in command at Lake Claire; she was familiar with the case and confirmed that the positive student and the two suitemates are already in quarantine in the aforementioned special dorm rooms. The two suitemates are being retested and, if negative, will return to the suite after it is sanitized. So everything looks good for my son’s arrival on Sunday.

Have they explained why their numbers have been off? On Tuesday the update said 451 as of August 1, but then they were up to 540 cases yesterday. How did they increase by that much but only have 14 cases last week? Something is not right about the numbers.
D18 roommates got their test on Monday and still don’t have results- this is at Rosen, not main campus.

I think UCF’s on-campus statistics are pretty irrelevant at this point. They are counting only ON-CAMPUS reports during a period when there were no students on campus, no faculty, and very few staff.

I look much more closely at Orange County and Seminole County.

UCF’s stats will matter about September, as well as the stats for the zip codes around the campus where off-campus apartments are located. Until then, I’ll be looking at their testing of dorm students – but I don’t expect to see big numbers there.

Update: The positive suitemate in Lake Claire had confirming tests, both viral and antibody, that were negative as of Saturday (15th) so he was allowed to stay in dorm but under quarantine in dorm. The two other suitemates (personal friends of aforementioned guy) were directed to quarantine in dorm (remember they both tested negative; their retests were negative). A VP in Provost’s office called us with this information on Saturday; my impression is that the finer points of their protocol for positive test results were being built in real time. This is not a criticism, as my work in risk management often has to take the same path. The VP also offered the following options for my son: Move into temporary dorm, until the suitemates cleared quarantine (10 days, per CDC rules that were revised recently), or move into his assigned dorm and join his suitemates in 10 day quarantine (my son does not get his move-in test results until probably today). Given the hassles of moving twice, and the negative results of his suitemates, we all decided for him to move in to assigned dorm. Also, under such protocols, the university arranges for (and pays for) meal deliveries (ten days, one delivery a day (between 3pm-5pm) of dinner, breakfast lunch). Pretty good quantity and variety of food for these first two deliveries (was Sunday and Monday), same vendor as campus food services.

I’m confused- the suitemate had a negative antibody? So did he have a false positive?

Apparently correct that initial viral move-in test was a false positive, given the subsequent negative antibody test result.

Here’s the current covid test info from the UCF App.

The numbers are from the START of Covid-19, so they include positive test results from the Spring and Summer 2020 terms as well as this semester:

Total positive students (since the dawn of time): 364

Positive tests from dorm move-in through August 22 (so this does NOT include checkins on Sunday and later): 159 out of 5,732 (2.8% positive – a very low rate).

I had a chat with a senior person, Jackie, in Student Health Services (SHS), as my son was still receiving the free daily food deliveries but he had understood that his quarantine ended with the start of school (24th). It turns out it was a full 14 days, ending this Monday (30th). Jackie shared some of the insights SHS is using to evaluate each case. You may recall from earlier in this thread that my son tested negative on move in, but one of his suitemate’s had tested positive on their move in a week earlier that ours, then tested negative on both viral and antibody the day before our scheduled move in. We figured the suitemate was a false positive.

She said that a negative viral test after someone tested positive may simply indicate they were over the infection, rather than a false positive. She also noted that the age group (freshmen) has exhibited relatively low antibody retention, which could explain the negative antibody test of someone who had previously tested viral positive–she offered these observations to explain why these four guys were under quarantine (an abundance of caution given these observations) through the 30th.

So a few more free deliveries of salads that my son doesn’t eat (sigh). The food is actually pretty okay, not bad. Just not what an 18 year old guy usually chooses.

When he regains his freedom, have him go to Burger U in Knights Plaza (E. Plaza). They have great burgers, and their chicken tenders are to die for!

And Jimmy Johns is right across the street for good subs, etc.

We were on campus Tues-Wed, driving our daughter back from a long Labor Day weekend, and I was very impressed with the mask compliance. We were on campus for several hours both days and I think I only saw one student without a mask.

Some were wearing their masks as chin-straps, but they raised them when someone approached.

UCF seems to be doing a good job.