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Tech sees big drop in new COVID cases

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

New cases of the novel coronavirus among Louisiana Tech University students, faculty and staff plummeted during the fourth week of the fall quarter, according to the latest self-reported case count published by the university.

For the week of Oct. 1-7, Tech reported 32 new positive cases of COVID-19, by far the lowest figure since in-person classes reopened. The previous low had been the third week with 92.

Of that 32, nine were students living on campus, 17 were students living off campus, and six were faculty or staff members.

The report also said eight more cases were reported during the third week after the reporting cut-off date. That brings the cumulative total for the fall quarter to at least 372 total cases.

The total amount of cases reported from the student population represents about 2.8% of the entire student body.

As has been the case since Sept. 14, the Louisiana National Guard is still offering free virus testing to the Tech and Ruston communities at the Argent Pavilion outside Joe Aillet Stadium. It will be available at least through Friday, if it is not extended once again, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The positive cases in Tech’s report are entirely self-reported by the students and staff members. Tech President Les Guice in a Saturday update once again encouraged the Tech community to selfreport not only positive cases, but symptoms or direct contact with a positive case through the established reporting channels.

“Louisiana Tech’s contact tracing program has been effective in helping our campus community slow the spread of COVID-19,” Guice said. “And despite the fact that many classes are online, we need our Tech family to continue to report.”

Meanwhile, while the Louisiana Department of Health has updated its institution-by-institution breakdown of reported cases through Oct. 7, Grambling State University’s figures haven’t budged.

The LDH lists GSU with 19 student cases and seven faculty/ staff cases since the start of the fall semester. Grambling State is not independently reporting its case totals outside of the LDH dashboard.