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Wastewater testing results suggest additional COVID-19 infections at the University of Virginia

Every student had the same message to their neighbors and classmates: please wear a mask and practice social distancing.
(WDBJ)
Published: Sep. 19, 2020 at 6:41 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Three more dormitories at the University of Virginia are now the focus of coronavirus testing.

UVA just announced wastewater testing results suggest additional COVID-19 infections. Those living in Lefevre, Echols, and Kellogg houses will all now face asymptomatic prevalence testing.

“Late last night (Thursday) they emailed us at about 9 p.m. about how there was a possible infection in the wastewater,” said first-year student Morgan Kinne, who lives at Lefevre.

Kinne was one of the hundreds of students from the three dorms who had to get tested Friday afternoon.

It’s the newest chapter in the unusual story of college during a pandemic.

“I feel like it’s very stressful all the time because you never know when someone you know might be sick or if you could get infected somehow,” said Tunih Vo, who lives with Kinne at Lefevre.

Rebecca Popp, another first-year student, also got tested on Friday.

“We’ve been trying to follow the precautions as best we can, just because it’s really important to us to be able to have as much of a college experience as we can because so much of it is so different,” Popp said.

One student we spoke to off-camera even said they had bets with their friends on when they would get sent home. That’s something Kinne definitely does not want.

“I’m from Florida,” Kinne said, “and I hate where it’s hot, and it’s nice here. So I want to make it to November at the very least.”

Two weeks ago, UVA had an average of 15 new COVID cases each day. This week: an average of 25 per day.

“I’m sure there are people that aren’t following the guidelines, that’s just the way it is,” Popp said. “And there will always be people who aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do. But I’m hoping that it’s not so many of those people that the rest of us aren’t able to fully finish the semester.”

Every student we spoke with had the same message to their neighbors and classmates: please wear a mask and practice social distancing.

The latest COVID tracker data for all of UVA shows:

  • 490 total COVID positives since 8/17, with 259 active cases.
  • 13 current hospitalizations
  • 19% of quarantine rooms filled and 1% of isolation rooms filled

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