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COVID tests show positive for 16 students at Hancock residence hall

More than a dozen students living in the Hancock Residence Hall at the University of Virginia have tested positive for COVID-19 and will be moved into isolation housing, university officials announced Friday afternoon.

Officials said 16 students, including six pairs of roommates, tested positive. Close contacts of the students will move to quarantine housing. The Virginia Department of Health has begun contact tracing and additional close contacts will also be moved into quarantine housing.

Hancock houses 115 residents. Follow-up testing of the rest of the residents will take place next week.

The cases were identified through the wastewater testing program at the university and through prevalence testing of students who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

Hancock residents who tested negative are being asked to follow mask policy, physical distancing, and to follow university guidelines on limited gatherings of no more than five students. They’re also asked to stay in their own dorm rooms until the second round of testing for the residence hall is complete next week.

At the same time, UVa will make a follow-up round of tests for residents of Balz-Dobie Residence Hall, which had students test positive for the virus last week.

Since in-person, on-Grounds classes began earlier this month, students have received positive COVID tests in Echols, Lefevre and Kellogg resident centers as well as Hancock and Balz-Dobie.

As of Friday, the UVa COVID dashboard showed 158 positive test returns since Sept. 18 of which 149 were students and the rest staff, faculty and employees.

During the week of Sept. 13 to Sept. 19, the last for which information is available, there were 184 positive COVID tests among 2,007 tests given to students. That’s less than a 10% positive rate for tests given to students.

There have been 590 cases of COVID-19 among students on Grounds since Aug. 17 and there are currently 265 active cases of COVID-19 among students, according to the UVa figures.

There have been 58 COVID-19 cases among employees, staff and faculty since Aug. 17 of which 10 are currently active.


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