Rao announces online COVID-19 dashboard monitoring VCU’s active cases

VCU President Michael Rao meets with student protesters in May 2019. Photo by Gessler Santos-Lopez

Katharine DeRosa, Staff Writer
Anya Sczerzenie, Contributing Writer

VCU President Michael Rao announced the launch of a university COVID-19 dashboard on Wednesday, providing students, faculty and staff with a centralized location to monitor active cases, on-campus isolation, prevalence testing and entry test results. 

There are 25 active student cases of COVID-19 and 11 cases among VCU employees, according to the site; fall semester classes began on Monday. Residential students had to test negative before moving into residence halls. Out of 4,395 entry tests, 15 had positive results and 4,380 were negative.

There are currently 11 on-campus students in isolation after testing positive and 32 on-campus students who are now quarantined after being exposed to someone with COVID-19, according to the dashboard.

The VCU dashboard is similar to those introduced at Virginia Tech and Radford University to help students and faculty keep track of coronavirus cases. It will be updated Monday through Friday.

President Rao stated in the press release that the details of individual cases will not be widely released to the public out of a concern for privacy. However, according to the release, people who have been exposed to a confirmed case will be notified so they can self-quarantine. 

In the press release, Rao reminded students to wear their masks and practice physical distancing of at least six feet. Students who participate in gatherings of over 10 people, on or off campus, are subject to interim suspension according to the press release.

Earlier in the week, rumors of confirmed cases in Gladding Residence Center spread on Twitter. Hannah Eason, managing editor of The Commonwealth Times, spoke to a VCU spokesperson who said those claims were not true. 

Students are expected to wear masks inside all VCU buildings, sanitize classroom equipment before and after use, and complete daily health screenings. 

Students and employees are required to report positive COVID-19 tests to Student Health Services or Employee Health. This can be done by calling 1-804-MYCOVID.

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