Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Fifth Covid-19 cluster at UNCW, one-third of quarantine beds in use

University of North Carolina Wilmington. (Port City Daily photo / BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)
University of North Carolina Wilmington. (Port City Daily photo / File)

WILMINGTON — On Monday evening, the University of North Carolina identified the fifth cluster of Covid-19 cases at a dorm over the last week.

According to UNCW, the latest cluster — which included five students — was located at Belk Hall. Clusters are defined as having five or more cases in close physical proximity occurring within two weeks.

Over the last week, UNCW also identified clusters at Cornerstone, Sandpiper, Pelican, and Graham-Hewlett halls. The University stated “individuals involved in these clusters are isolating and receiving medical monitoring and/or treatment as needed. To protect individuals’ private health information, UNCW will not publicly identify students or employees diagnosed with COVID-19.”

According to UNCW’s ‘data dashboard,’ there have been 189 Covid-19 cases (4 faculty and 185 students) since July. That’s more than double the numbers from last week, when the University dashboard showed 33 Covid-19 cases, with 30 students and 3 faculty or staff infected. The University is currently using about 35% of its 150 quarantine bed spaces, up from 7% last week.

Related: UNCW hoping Saffo’s clout, exemption to federal privacy laws will help curb outbreaks

Like colleges and universities around the nation, UNCW is faced with the challenge of stemming clusters and outbreaks both at residence halls and at off-campus apartment complexes. UNCW has partnered with Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo to try and put additional pressure on apartments and management companies to enforce regulations prohibiting gatherings and parties.

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