Iowa State again reports significantly increased COVID-19 cases, 89 last week

Phillip Sitter
Ames Tribune

An additional 89 COVID-19 cases were reported at Iowa State University from March 29 to April 4, according to the university's public health dashboard.

This week's reported total includes 78 students and two staff members identified through on-campus testing, as well as six students and three staff members and who reported testing positive from off-campus sources. No faculty members tested positive. 

Seventy students had tested positive on campus the week before.

University spokesperson Angie Hunt said last week the spread "appears to be related to social interactions without distancing or face coverings." But, Hunt added, the university generally continues "to see compliance on campus with face coverings and physical distancing."

Since Jan. 25, the start of the spring semester, the university has seen between 12 and 37 cases each week. 

Case increases haven't just been at ISU:COVID-19 cases up at Iowa, Iowa State, UNI; increased 'social interactions' without masks cited as possible reason

The weekly positivity rate is 5.18% as of Sunday, down from 6.15% the week prior.

Hunt said last week that students had been sent reminders about COVID-19 testing at Johnny's (a sports bar reserved for Iowa State Athletics donors) in Hilton Coliseum and the importance of mitigation measures individuals should take — "Cyclones Care behaviors."

The latest report on cases in the campus community also noted that "Iowa State expects to receive an allotment of COVID-19 vaccine to hold a mass vaccination clinic on campus before the end of spring semester." More information is to be made available at web.iastate.edu/safety/updates/covid19/vaccinations.

More:This fall on Iowa college campuses may look more like they did in 2019 than 2020. ISU, UNI, UI prep their plans.

According to Iowa State's report, from March 22 to April 4, a total of 217 individuals were in quarantine after coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Of those in quarantine, 31 people — 14% — later tested positive, the university reported. 

From March 29 to April 4, a total of 112 individuals were in isolation with active COVID-19 cases, Iowa State reported.

As of April 4, nine campus isolation rooms — 5.8% of capacity —  and eight campus quarantine rooms — 3.4% of capacity — were in use.

Last week's COVID-19 update from ISU:Iowa State positivity rate up 4% from week prior after 80 new COVID-19 cases confirmed

Since Jan. 1, a total of 498 members of the Iowa State community — including students, graduate assistants, staff and faculty — have tested positive for COVID-19 through on-campus testing, according to the university statistics (not including move-in testing):

Students – 399 positives 

Graduate assistants – 42 positives

Staff – 47 positives

ISU faculty – 10 positives 

The positive cases make up 3.6% of the on-campus testing conducted. 

The Iowa State COVID-19 website was updated on Feb. 1 to start tracking data for the spring semester. Data from the fall semester and winter break is archived and publicly accessible.

In the fall semester, a total of 2,175 students had tested positive through on-campus testing, as well as 52 graduate assistants, 155 staff and 15 faculty members.

Ongoing ISU research on COVID-19 testing:COVID-19 test results before walking into work each morning? ISU researchers are working on it.

College-related stimulus payment advice:With student debt, college savings plan, what should you do with your stimulus check? ISU financial aid director offers insights

Phillip Sitter covers education for the Ames Tribune, including Iowa State University and PreK-12 schools in Ames and elsewhere in Story County. Phillip can be reached via email at psitter@gannett.com. He is on Twitter @pslifeisabeauty.