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COVID-19 at UT: Positive cases fall to 73; 298 in isolation

The University of Tennessee began releasing regular updates on COVID-19 in the Knoxville campus community Aug. 18.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Starting  Aug. 18, the University of Tennessee Knoxville began providing regular updates on data about COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

Students began returning to campus on Aug. 9 to prepare for a mix of online and in-person classes, which start on Aug. 19. 

For context, the university said those active cases include ongoing cases - not just those since move-in began on Aug. 9. 

With self-isolations, active self-isolations will be included broken down by date on the report, but that does not mean the self-isolation started on that date. It’s also important to note that self-isolations can happen for a number of reasons and vary in length depending on the person’s circumstances. The graph on the university's website on reasons for self-isolation is important context. 

Video updates from Chancellor Donde Plowman will be available twice per week on the chancellor's website.

RELATED: UTK to provide regular COVID-19 updates 

Sept. 29, 2020

UT's Tuesday report showed another slight decrease in the number of active COVID-19 cases, with 73 students and staff currently positive. Of those, 69 were students and 4 were employees. The number of new cases remained level with 6 new cases since Monday.

The number of isolations also slightly decreased, with 298 people in isolation -- including 35 employees, 103 residential students and 160 non-residential students.

UT has not seen any active clusters of cases within the last 14 days.

On Tuesday, UT Chancellor Donde Plowman provided an update on pooled COVID-19 saliva testing on campus to find potential clusters in residence halls. The university took saliva samples from 574 people at White and Hess Halls.

The samples were pooled in groups of 5, and 21 of those pooled samples -- which include roughly 105 people -- have been referred to the student health center for follow-up individual PCR testing. 

About 5% of the samples are still being tested. UT said it will take new pooled saliva samples every week for the rest of the semester.

Pooled saliva test will continue every week for rest of semester.

Dr. Deborah Crawford said the results of the saliva testing show students need to be very aware and cautious of any minor symptoms that have this fall and winter and should seek testing, even if they believe it's 'only allergies.'

"These results tell us the virus is pernicious, and that the virus is being spread by people who don't know they have the symptoms or misattribute them to something like allergies," she said. 

Chancellor Plowman and Dr. Crawford once again warned students about their high potential for being asymptomatic spreaders. While the virus has not largely been seen to pose the same health risks to young people compared to those who are older, health experts warn that young people with no symptoms can put others in harms way with this virus if they are being reckless and ignoring the risk. They continue to ask everyone to follow the 5 core actions of social distancing to prevent themselves from unknowingly spreading the virus to others more at risk to serious complications.

Sept. 28, 2020

UT's Monday report showed a slight decrease in the number of active COVID-19 cases, with 95 students and staff currently positive. Of those, 89 were students and 6 were employees. The number of new cases grew slightly by 11 over the weekend.

The number of isolations also slightly decreased, with 343 people total in isolation -- including 40 employees, 112 residential students, and 191 non-residential students. 

UT recently conducted pooled saliva testing at two residence halls on campus -- saying it is worried the rapid decrease in cases is not due to fewer students contracting COVID-19, but fewer students seeking out testing for the virus. UT said it should have the results of the pooled tests this week, and will follow up with individual PCR testing depending on the results. 

Sept. 25, 2020

UT's Friday report show a decrease in the number of active COVID-19 cases at 119 total, with 114 being students and 5 being employees. UT is now reporting the number of daily new cases as concerns grow that many students are not seeking testing. 15 new cases were reported between staff and students.

The number of isolations continued to decrease to 458 total, down by 192 from yesterday.

Sept. 24, 2020

UT's Thursday report showed a slight increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. UT reported 135 total active cases -- including 127 students and 8 employees.

The number of isolations decreased to 650, down by 35 from 685.

Sept. 23, 2020

UT's Wednesday report showed another significant day-to-day decline in active cases of COVID-19. Cases count is down to 132 from 178 -- less than a third the number of active cases from just three days ago.

That includes 124 students and 8 employees. UT cautioned Tuesday this may be due to a reduction in students getting tested, and are encouraging everyone, even if they feel it's allergies or a mild cough, to seek testing.

WBIR reported Tuesday that just a handful of students had been tested this week at the Student Health Center.

Recoveries are now at 1,264.

The number of people in isolation declined by nearly 200 to 685. That includes 299 residential, 326 non-residential students and 60 employees.

Sept. 22, 2020

UT's report Tuesday morning -- reflecting the latest positive active virus numbers as of Monday night -- shows a day-to-day decline of nearly 50 percent. The case count is down to 178 from 338.

The new tally includes 166 students and 12 employees.

University administrators have cautioned the decline could reflect a reduction in the number of students actually going to get tested. They've been encouraging the campus community to seek testing even if they think they just have mild cold or allergy symptoms.

Recoveries are now at 1,222, figures show.

The number of students and staff in isolation or quarantine also fell sharply, according to Tuesday's report. The total now is 849, down from 1,305 the day before.

The total includes 393 non-residential students and 378 on-campus residents as well as 78 employees.

Sept. 21, 2020

UT's report Monday morning -- reflecting the latest positive active virus numbers as of Sunday night -- shows the decline that started last week continued over the weekend. The total is now 338, including 323 students and 15 employees.

That's down from Friday's report of 412, including 398 students.

Recoveries as of Monday morning total 1,026.

Students and staff currently in isolation or quarantine total 1,305. Of that 528 are non-residential students, 680 are on-campus students and 97 are employees.

On Friday morning the total was 1,540, with 631 non-residential students, 802 on-campus students and 107 employees.

On Friday, Dr. Spencer Gregg of the Student Health Center said it appears fewer students may be getting tested at the center, one reason the numbers could be going down.

Education administrators warned students to go get tested even if they think they're only experiencing a mild cold or symptoms of a seasonal allergy.

Sept. 18, 2020

UT's report Friday morning -- reflecting the latest positive virus numbers as of Thursday night -- shows a continued decrease in active cases. The total is now 412, including 398 students and 14 employees.

The day before the count was 435: 421 students and 14 employees.

Recoveries as of Friday morning total 894.

Students and staff currently in isolation or quarantine total 1,540. Of that, 631 are non-residential students, 802 are on-campus students and 107 are employees.

The new numbers represent a drop from the day before of 1,621 in isolation or quarantine.

The number of off-campus students in quarantine or isolation is down from 1,014 on Sept. 13 to 631 as of Thursday's report.

The number of on-campus students in quarantine or isolation is down from 1,073 on Sept. 13 to 802 as of Thursday's report.

Sept. 17, 2020

UT's report Thursday morning -- reflecting the latest positive virus numbers as of Wednesday night -- shows a continued decrease in active cases. The total is now 435, including 421 students and 14 employees.

The day before the count was 486 students and 13 employees.

Recoveries as of Thursday morning total 845.

Students and staff currently in isolation or quarantine total 1,621. Of that, 660 are non-residential students, 859 are on-campus students and 102 are employees.

The new numbers represent a drop from the day before of 1,784 in isolation or quarantine.

The number of off-campus students in quarantine or isolation is down from 1,014 on Sept. 13 to 660 as of Thursday's report.

The number of on-campus students in quarantine or isolation is down from 1,073 on Sept. 13 to 859 as of Thursday's report.

Sept. 16, 2020

UT's report Wednesday morning -- reflecting the latest positive virus numbers as of Tuesday night -- shows another drop in active case. The total is now 499, including 486 students and 13 employees.

Tuesday's report showed there were 645 total cases, including 630 students and 15 employees. That was down from the day before when there were a total of 680 active cases.

Recoveries as of Wednesday morning total 814.

Students and staff currently in isolation or quarantine total 1,784, a drop from 2,087 the day before.

Current figures show there are 678 non-residential students in isolation and 1,006 on-campus students in isolation. There are 100 employees in isolation or quarantine.

The number of non-residential students in quarantine or isolation is down more than 200 this week.

Sept. 15, 2020

UT's report Tuesday morning -- reflecting the latest positive virus numbers as of Monday night  -- shows 645 total cases, including 630 students and 15 employees.

That's a small decrease from the day before, when figures showed a total of 680 positive cases including 667 students.

UT has vowed to begin broader and more aggressive testing to identify the presence of the virus on campus.

Recoveries as of Tuesday morning total 634.

Students and staff currently in isolation or quarantine total 2,087, a drop from 2,175 the day before. 

Current figures show there are 892 non-residential students in isolation and 1,093 on-campus students in isolation. There are 102 employees in isolation or quarantine.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, was visiting the UT campus on Tuesday morning.

Sept. 14, 2020

UT's report Monday morning -- reflecting the latest positive virus numbers as of Sunday night  -- shows 680 total cases, including 667 students and 13 employees.

Numbers dipped briefly over the weekend. On Friday morning the university reported 672 cases, and on Saturday UT said it had a total of 634 total cases.

Recoveries as of Monday morning total 507. On Friday morning, UT reported that number at 426.

Students and staff currently in isolation or quarantine total 2,175. That's an increase from Friday morning, when UT said figures showed there were 2,079 people in isolation or quarantine.

Current figures show there are 1,014 non-residential students in isolation and 1,073 on-campus students in isolation. There are 88 employees in isolation or quarantine.

UT officials announced Friday they would expand on-campus testing to get a better sense of COVID-19's presence at UT. Dr. Spencer Gregg, director of the Student Health Center, said results from that testing in the coming days and weeks likely will raise UT's positive case counts.

Sept. 11, 2020

UT's report Friday morning -- reflecting the latest positive virus numbers as of Thursday night  -- now total 672, all but 11 of which are students.

Recoveries total 426, up from 373 the day before.

Students and staff now in isolation or quarantine total 2,079. That includes 1,018 students off campus, 985 students on campus and 76 employees.

No new clusters were reported Friday.

On Thursday, UT said it had found a new cluster of cases on the second floor of White Hall, a dorm. The cluster of infections was believed to have occurred around September 4 and is the first cluster identified in a dorm. The rest of the clusters have been at sororities or off-campus homes.

Sept. 10, 2020

UT's report Thursday shows COVID-19 cases are increasing steadily after another cluster was identified in a campus dorm.

Positive cases on and off campus involving students and staff increased to 662, with all but 9 cases involving students. Recoveries grew to 373.  

The number of students and staff currently in self-isolation increased slightly to 2,023, including 1,030 students off campus, 923 students on campus, and 70 employees. 43% are in self-isolation due to close contact with a COVID-19- positive person, 25% for having symptoms, and 23% for testing positive for COVID-19.

A new cluster of cases was identified at a dorm on campus on the second floor of White Hall. The cluster of infections was believed to have occurred around September 4 and is the first cluster identified in a dorm. The rest of the clusters have been at sororities or off-campus homes.

Sept. 8, 2020

UT's report Tuesday morning -- reflecting the latest positive virus numbers as of Monday night -- shows a very small increase. Positive cases rose from 590 as of Sunday to 600 on Monday.

Figures show 592 students have positive cases; the employee count rose from 6 to 8.

According to the Tuesday report for Monday, a total of 2,012 people were in isolation or quarantine, including 984 students living off campus and 955 students living on campus. The employee count is 73, down 1 from Sunday night.

The total isolation/quarantine number rose from the day before when there were 1,983 people, including 959 off-campus students and 950 on-campus students.

There have been 303 recoveries.

No new case clusters were reported Tuesday. So far there have been 8, including 7 among sororities. Another cluster was reported at a Fort Sanders residence.

Sept. 7, 2020

UT's report Monday morning -- reflecting the latest numbers as of Sunday night -- shows a sharp jump that took place over the weekend. Positive, active cases rose from 369 as of Thursday night to 590 as of Sunday night.

Students -- now at 584 -- represent the entire increase. The number of employee cases has held steady at 6 since late last week.

According to the Monday report for Sunday, a total of 1,983 people were in isolation or quarantine, including 959 students living off campus and 950 students living on campus. The employee count is 74, up 8 from late last week.

The total isolation/quarantine number rose from the day before when there were 1,895 people, including 913 off-campus students and 914 on-campus students.

There have been 282 recoveries.

No new case clusters were reported Monday. So far there have been 8, including 7 among sororities. Another cluster was reported at a Fort Sanders residence.

Sept. 4, 2020

UT's report Friday morning -- reflecting the latest numbers as of Thursday night -- shows a jump in active cases, from 308 the day before to 369. Of that, 363 are students and 6 are employees. 

According to the Friday report for Thursday, a total of 1,647 people were in isolation or quarantine, including 827 students living off campus and 754 students on campus. The employee count is 66.

The total isolation/quarantine number rose from the day before when there were 1,442 people, including 730 off-campus students and 650 on-campus students. 

There have been 254 recoveries.

No new case clusters were reported Friday. So far there have been 8, including 7 among sororities. Another cluster was reported at a Fort Sanders residence.

Sept. 2, 2020

UT's report Wednesday -- reflecting the latest numbers as of Tuesday night -- shows a jump in active, positive cases -- from 198 to 243. Of that, 238 are students and 5 are employees. There's been no change in the number of employees with a positive, active case.

Two new clusters also are being reported at sororities.

According to the Wednesday report for Tuesday, a total of 1,253 people were in isolation or quarantine, including 632 students living off campus and 557 students living on campus. The employee count remains at 64.

The total isolation/quarantine number rose from the day before when there were 1,045 people, including 558 off-campus students and 423 on-campus students.

New clusters also are being reported at two sororities -- Phi Mu and Sigma Kappa. That brings to five the total number of virus clusters that have been verified at sororities at UT.

There have been 230 recoveries.

Sept. 1, 2020

UT's report Tuesday that reflects that latest numbers as of Monday night shows 198 active positive cases, with 193 of those being students and five being employees.

UT Chancellor Donde Plowman said Tuesday during a briefing she was gratified to see case rates remain low and stable for staff members.

The latest active count also represents a slight decrease from the day before, when there were 210 total active cases, with 205 of those being students.

According to the Tuesday report for Monday, a total of 1,045 people were in isolation or quarantine, including 558 students living off campus, 432 students living on campus and 64 employees.

The total isolation/quarantine number rose from the day before when there were 783 people in isolation, including 543 off-campus students and 377 on-campus students.

There have been 221 recoveries.

August 31, 2020

COVID-19 clusters at two additional sorority houses may be contributing to the continued increases of the illness on campus.

UT reported 210 active cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday night, including 205 students and five staff members. Active cases have doubled since classes started.

783 people are in isolation, including 543 off-campus students and 377 on-campus students.

Health officials have identified two additional clusters of COVID-19. One is at the Delta Delta Delta sorority house and the other at the Alpha Delta Pi sorority house. In a previous sorority house cluster, UT officials said everyone who lived in the house would be treated as a close contact because of the shared living arrangement, so all of them will be tested and moved to isolation or quarantine as necessary.

August 28, 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases on the UT Knoxville campus continues to grow.

UT reported 150 active cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, including 144 students and 6 staff members.

734 people are in isolation, including 433 off-campus students, 231 on-campus students, and 70 employees.

Chancellor Plowman said two members of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house tested positive for COVID-19. Because of the shared living arrangements, everyone who lives in the house and is considered a close contact. All of them will be tested and either be quarantined or go into self-isolation.

Dr. Spencer Duncan Gregg said it will be very difficult to handle COVID-19 in shared living situations like sorority and fraternity houses.

August 27, 2020

UT reported 144 active cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, including 137 students and 7 staff members.

The university also identified another cluster of cases related to the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority house. Five fraternities and one sorority were put on interim suspension this week for not complying with safety rules, though ZTA was not one of them.

690 people are in isolation, including 398 off-campus students, 217 on-campus students, and 75 employees.

August 26, 2020

UT reported 131 active cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. 124 of those are students and seven are employees.

543 people are in isolation, including 338 off-campus students, 132 on-campus students, and 73 employees.

There have been 154 recoveries reported since June 8.

August 25, 2020

UT reported that as of Monday, Aug. 24, there are 126 total active cases -- 6 employees and 120 students.

There have been 143 recoveries reported since June 8.

Figures also show 489 people are now in isolation, including 70 employees, 122 students in residential housing and 297 students living off campus.

IMPORTANT: The university said active cases for Aug. 21-23 were overcounted because they included people awaiting test results in addition to positive cases. The overcount for those dates was corrected on its website to include only positive cases.

August 24, 2020

On Tuesday, Aug. 25, UT said active case numbers were over-reported for Aug. 21-23 and its website data was corrected to reflect the change. There were actually 118 total active cases-- 112 students and six employees.

UT reported that as of Sunday, Aug. 23, there are 136 total active cases -- eight employees and 126 students.

There have been 140 recoveries reported since June 8.

Figures also show 444 people are now in isolation, including 68 employees, 113 students in residential housing and 263 students living off campus.

August 21, 2020

UT reported there are 110 active cases among students and staff, an increase of 5 since Thursday. 103 of those are students and 7 of those are staff members.

There have been 113 recoveries reported since June 8.

UT also said 408 people within the campus community are in active self-isolation. This includes 240 non-residential students, 87 residential students and 81 employees.

August 20, 2020

The university reported that there are 105 active cases among students and staff since Aug. 19. 97 of those are students and 8 of those are staff members.

There have been 110 recoveries reported since June 8. 

UT also said 377 people within the campus community are in active self-isolation. This includes 221 non-residential students, 80 residential students and 76 employees.

August 19, 2020

The university reported that there are 97 active cases among students and staff since Aug. 18. 89 of those are students and 8 of those are staff members.

There have been 110 recoveries reported since June 8. 

UT also said 355 people within the campus community are in active self-isolation. This includes 191 non-residential students, 70 residential students and 94 employees.

August 18, 2020

The university reported that there are 75 active cases among students and staff since Monday, Aug. 17. 66 of those are students and 9 of those are staff members.

There have been 104 recoveries reported since June 8. 

UT also said 270 people within the campus community are in active self-isolation. This includes 136 non-residential students, 51 residential students and 83 employees.

August 13, 2020

UT Knoxville announced there were 28 active cases of COVID-19 within the campus community. Twenty students and 8 faculty members tested positive for COVID-19. 

The university said those active cases include ongoing cases - not just those since move-in began on Aug. 9. Four of those 28 total active cases have been since the Aug. 9 move-in date. 

RELATED: UT tracking COVID-19 cases as students return to Rocky Top