On Wednesday, Sept. 9, the University of Arizona reported a total of 150 new cases out of 1,704 total tests, putting the daily positive rate at 8.8%. This increase in 150 cases represents the highest single-day increase in cases since July 31, at that point.
However, on Friday, Sept. 11, the UA reported a total of 196 new daily cases, which represents the current single-day record all the way up to Sept. 14.
Out of the 150 new cases reported on Sept. 9, 32 came from Campus Health and the other 118 came from the "Test All Test Smart" program spearheaded by the university. As an aside to the 32 cases from Campus Health, the UA noted that a delay in the Campus Health PCR testing results.
Out of the 196 new cases reported on Sept. 11, 46 came from Campus Health and the other 150 came from the "Test All Test Smart" program.
"ICU bed availability … across the Tucson area is at the highest level since early June, meaning the lowest number of patients in the ICUs," said UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins in a press conference earlier today. "Ventilator usage is at a three-month low."
On-campus, there are 91 isolation beds that are currently occupied out of a total of 418 beds that are currently available — or about 20%. As of Sept. 9, there had been no report of any UA student, faculty or staff member that have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, according to Robbins.
"We are offering isolation to off-campus students as needed. Our surge capacity is 600 beds and up to 1,000 if we make use of local hotels," Robbins said.
Amidst a looming influenza season, Robbins and other university officials strongly recommend getting a flu shot to avoid overwhelming the capacity of beds or other resources.
On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the state of Arizona reported a total of 81 cases, which was the lowest daily report since March 25, according to The New York Times. On Tuesday, the state also reported two deaths from the coronavirus.
On Monday, Sept. 14, Arizona reported 213 cases and 0 deaths. Previous day reports include 521 cases on Sept. 11, 605 cases on Sept. 12 and 384 cases on Sept. 13.
"The big, big risk factor is the social behavior of young men and women who are used to coming to a campus and socializing and going to classes and all of the usual college activities, which is the most difficult thing to change," said Dr. Richard Carmona, a former Surgeon General of the United States who leads to the UA reentry task force.
Robbins noted that the increasing daily numbers indicate a difficulty controlling the spread of the virus and a call to action to go to the the "real treatment" stage from the "prevention" stage earlier on. The UA met Monday to announce a new shelter-in-place directive for students, which comes from an increase in the rate of coronavirus transmission within the last week.
"We need to do everything we can to minimize the spread of this very highly contagious and transmittable virus that can be deadly, especially to the most vulnerable populations," Robbins said. "We're aware of parties that are going on … there's a problem."
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