UNA sees spike in COVID-19 cases as students return; School leaders say it’s due to holiday gathering

COVID increase on college campuses

FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Health officials have attributed recent spikes in COVID-19 cases to Christmas and New Year testing.

UNA students returned to campus last week and there has been an increase in cases.

Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Kimberly Greenway, said this is exactly what’s happening at UNA as students have returned for the spring.

COVID-19 cases jumped from 11 to 78 in the first week students returned.

“That’s really people coming back to campus from holiday gatherings rather them actually being returning to campus,” said Dr. Greenway.

Dr. Greenway said that students haven’t been back on campus long enough to see the real impact of students returning to campus from break.

“We expect that the campus numbers may continue to stay a little high over the next couple of weeks but as long as students began to follow the guidance again we expect a decline in those as well,” said Dr. Greenway.

She said that if students follow the campus and CDC guidelines cases will decrease

“I think as long as they are diligent to follow the guidance we have for our campus and also to follow it while we’re off campus, I think that will help mitigate some of the rising in cases,” said Dr. Greenway.

Hosting safe events on campus is one way they are trying to curb coronavirus fatigue on campus.

“We’re still having much of our campus traditional programming like step sing and Miss UNA and those larger events. Given the guidance we’re doing that with appropriate spacing so that students don’t have as much fatigue as they would have if we weren’t still offering those things and doing them in the right way,” said Dr. Greenway.

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