New positive cases of COVID-19 recorded at the University of Cincinnati (UC) continue to steadily decline following a brief spike at the beginning of the semester.
The university recorded a total 51 weekly positive cases among students and employees for the week starting Sept. 27, according to preliminary public health data.
Of the total 776 COVID-19 screening tests conducted during the week of Sept. 25 through Oct. 1, just 18 tests came back positive, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard. That’s a weekly positivity rate of 2.32%.
The university’s weekly testing positivity rate remains well below that of the surrounding area.
Hamilton County’s positivity rates is 9.47% and the statewide positivity rate is 10% to 14.9%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. Dustin Calhoun, chair of UC’s COVID-19 Response Team, has said the university’s COVID-19 dashboard represents the mandatory screening tests conducted among unvaccinated residential students, which is the highest risk population on campus.
Students are required to self-report if exposed to someone with COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19. Those experiencing symptoms can schedule an appointment for testing at one of the university’s symptomatic testing locations.
The university has implemented several changes to its pandemic policies and procedures for fall semester, including the adoption of a universal indoor mask mandate and COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
Students, faculty and staff who are not already fully vaccinated must receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 15, with those receiving a two-dose vaccine required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15.
More than half (55%) of Hamilton County’s total population is vaccinated against COVID-19 and 59% of the population having at least one dose, CDC data shows.
Each of Greater Cincinnati’s 14 counties are still designated as areas with high community transmission based on CDC levels, according to regional public health data released Wednesday.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Cincinnati region appear to have hit a plateau. There are 518 confirmed COVID-19-positive patients in the region’s hospitals, data shows. Of those, 163 are in ICU and 128 are on ventilators.
Among the positive patients in ICUs across the region, health officials are tracking a seven-day moving average of 75% on ICUs.
The influx of hospitalizations continues to place an intense strain on staff and placing hospitals in “critical operations.”
Adult ICU beds in Greater Cincinnati hospitals are 101% occupied, according to the Health Collaborative. At 96% occupied, the region’s hospitals continue to have a small buffer of available adult medical-surgical beds.
There’s currently a seven-day moving average of about three COVID-19 deaths in Southwest Ohio, according to the data.
UC updates its coronavirus dashboard weekly. More information about the university’s pandemic protocols can be found here.