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BYU nearly doubles COVID cases, causing concern among health officials

Sep 11, 2020, 2:43 PM | Updated: Sep 15, 2020, 8:42 am

PROVO, Utah — BYU is reporting 141 new self-confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus in the last week, bringing its total to 258 cases. That represents roughly 0.6% of the campus community, according to the university.

The 141 recent cases nearly doubles the number of cases reported during the first week of school. This has caused concern among health officials, with Utah County Health Department spokesperson Aislynn Tolman-Hill urging students not to attend maskless parties. 

“Our concerns are pretty valid,” Tolmann-Hill said. “[That’s] because we are seeing direct linkages to positive cases that are being seen from these social gatherings.”

Many of the cases have been linked to maskless parties or other social gatherings.

She is also encouraging young people to take precautions. 

“We have seen perfectly healthy individuals who have severe, severe issues. This is not something to take lightly at all,” Tolman-Hill said. 

As of Friday, there are 218 active COVID-19 cases at BYU with 40 of those cases no longer in isolation. The school’s average testing positive rate is roughly 20 cases per day. 

This comes as the state reports its highest COVID-19 tally since July, with 656 new positive cases Friday — bringing Utah’s rate of infection to about 9%. 

Health officials say this stark increase may be because of testing center closures earlier this week.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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BYU nearly doubles COVID cases, causing concern among health officials