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College reports 25 new coronavirus cases following first full round of student, staff and faculty testing, with positivity rate under 1 percent


Less than a week after the first day of classes, St. Olaf reported 25 new coronavirus cases, with 81 people in quarantine and 27 in isolation, on its weekly dashboard. Positivity rates currently sit at 0.9 percent according to campus reopening lead Enoch Blazis, and his team continues to closely track cases.

The College has now completed the first round of COVID-19 testing for students and its second round for faculty and staff, and is currently undergoing its second round of student testing.

In an email to students, Blazis attributes the raise in positive cases to the increased number of new tests conducted. As of Aug. 24, 3,060 new tests had been recorded since the first round of faculty and staff testing.

As part of the reopening plan, the College laid out different COVID alert levels to inform the community on the differing risks and to quickly and clearly update the current status of the COVID threat on campus.

Blazis explained that data indicates campus will still be in green alert level come Sept. 2. The green alert level indicates that there are low transmission levels, meaning less than 1 percent of students are infected and health resources such as testing and other critical supplies are still readily available.