New York Times data collects information about COVID-19 on some Utah campuses

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Editor’s note: The universities mentioned in this article are ones with data collection that’s made publicly available or released by university officials.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Since the beginning of the pandemic, The New York Times reports four Utah universities currently have or previously had positive, COVID-19 cases associated with their university.

Data collection from The Times shows about 270 universities nationwide reporting more than 6,600 COVID-19 cases, as of July 28th.

It’s reported Utah State, Weber State, Brigham Young and Dixie State universities have received more than 100 – current or previous – self-reports of COVID-19 cases, either on campus or among a person affiliated with the university, but may not be on campus (i.g. person away from school for summer).

Each university representative ABC4 News spoke to said they believe it’s important to track the number of cases for their community to see.

“We just wanted to have some transparency there, so people are aware of the level of cases,” said Todd Hollingshead, a BYU spokesperson.

While university learning may look different this year, school representatives also said they’re working to minimize the spread come this fall.

“I think it would be naïve to think that once we start bringing back, you know, we won’t be faced with cases. We’re of course doing everything we can,” said Allison Barlow Hess, a WSU spokesperson.

“To minimize the spread of COVID-19 on campus this fall, we’ve implemented CDC, state and local health department recommendations/guidelines regarding face coverings, social distancing, quarantine, self-isolation and other measures,” wrote Stacy Schmidt, a DSU spokesperson.

“There’s always going to be a risk, and so it’s about managing the risk. It’s definitely something we’re looking at constantly. How can we lower the risk here or there?” said Amanda DeRito, a USU spokesperson.

WSU reports its one COVID-19 case came from a track athlete at the beginning of the pandemic. It is unclear where USU (63 cases), BYU (51 cases) or DSU (9 cases) affiliates may have contracted the virus.

If you are affiliated with USU, WSU, BYU, or DSU, and have contracted COVID-19, you can self-report to help universities track the spread of the respiratory virus.

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