New campus COVID cases halve from week prior, 8 reported in total

Feb. 15, 2021, 10:51 p.m.

The University reported two new student COVID cases and six among faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars for the week of Feb. 8, marking a meaningful decrease from the previous week’s 18 combined cases, according to the COVID-19 dashboard.

Like last week, surveillance tests for students this week exceeded 10,000, this time reaching just over 12,000, a roughly 480-test increase from last week.

The number of tests on faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars from the week was around 7,500, signifying the first time that testing has decreased in frequency since the week of Jan. 18.

Contact tracing indicated that one student case and three employee cases were likely due to on-campus community transmission, the dashboard stated on Monday. The specific details of what behavior or who specifically spread the virus are unknown, and how early the infected students were aware of their condition is unclear.

The University did not immediately respond to a request for comment on a potential explanation for the decrease, notwithstanding reports of prohibited gatherings and rule-breaking in the Graduate School of Business.

When researchers said that Stanford’s Jan. 9 cancelation of winter quarter reopening plans was the safest option, there was a seven-day rolling average of 1,481 cases per day in Santa Clara County. The rolling average of cases per day is now just over 400. When cases drop below 400, the average will be the lowest it has been since November.

Members of the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) spoke with administrators on Friday about plans to bring students to campus in the spring quarter, during which ASSU executives advocated against bringing juniors and seniors back.

Contact Matthew Turk at mjturk ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Matthew Turk ’24 is the Chief Technology Officer of the The Stanford Daily and is majoring in computer science. He has previously served as a desk editor in News and managing editor of The Grind. This past summer, he served as a software engineering intern at The Washington Post. His novels, An Invincible Summer (2021) and Baba Yaga (2022), are in stores. Ask Matthew about astrophysics, football and the automotive industry. Contact him at mturk ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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