COVID-19 case rates on campus remain below county rates

Julia Jackson  

[email protected] 

     With the winter holidays coming up, the COVID-19 risk remains a consideration for students leaving campus during travel season. 

     This semester, UCCS cases peaked at 35 during the week of Nov. 4-10, following the Halloween weekend. Through October and November cases averaged about 17 per week and remained below the El Paso County average case rate per 100,000 people. 

     A Nov. 5 University Communications email update outlined a “critical trigger point” at which the UCCS positive case rate exceeds the county’s rate. Reaching this point would lead to further measures against COVID-19 on campus, including requiring vaccine documentation or regular testing. 

     “Anytime we see community cases rise, campus cases rise, because they are intertwined. The majority of positive cases on campus that have been reported were exposed to the virus off campus,” the Nov. 5 email reads. 

     According to the Nov. 19 update, 17 positive cases were confirmed during the week of Nov. 11-17. This would be equal to 138 cases per 100,000 people, 63% fewer cases than the county rate of 377 per 100,000. El Paso County reported a total of 2,823 cases in those seven days. 

     For the week of Nov. 4-10, the Nov. 12 update reported the spike of 35 cases at UCCS, reaching a rate of 30% fewer cases per 100,000 compared to the county. This showed an increase of 18 cases from the previous week, the week of Oct. 28 through Nov. 3, but decreased again by 18 cases in the following week. 

     For more information on cases and testing rates, see the UCCS COVID-19-ready dashboard

     The university continues to recommend that students are vaccinated, including booster doses, which are available through the Wellness Center. On Nov. 19, the CDC approved Moderna and Pfizer boosters for all people at least 18 years old who were vaccinated at least six months ago. 

     The Wellness Center will offer free first, second and booster doses of the Moderna vaccine at clinics on Dec. 1, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 from 10-11 a.m. Students must register through links shared via email by the Wellness Center. 

     University Communications emails also advise that those experiencing symptoms do not come to campus. Students can schedule testing through the Wellness Center by calling 719-255-4444.