UVA students react to COVID-19 clusters around grounds

UVA students react to COVID-19 clusters around grounds
13 students test positive in two UVA dorms after wastewater testing revealed potential asymptomatic carriers. (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia (UVA) announced it had ordered two more residence halls into quarantine after four students tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

After wastewater results suggested the presence of asymptomatic carriers in the dorms, Echols and Kellogg residence halls underwent point prevalence testing to confirm the presence of COVID-19 positive students. The testing discovered 6 students in Echols and 7 in Kellogg were positive for the virus.

Despite a recent surge in cases on grounds, students say the realize it’s more important than ever to stay safe.

“People are taking it seriously being safe in general," UVA First Year Owen Solomon said. "People are being, like, really compliant and wearing masks and trying to stay apart and there’s occupancy limits in the dorms and everyone’s been following those so everyone’s being really safe and taken seriously.”

Although Solomon says his dorm hasn’t been forced to stay isolated, he knows other students who have.

“I mean it’s unfortunate, because they don’t want to be [isolating] obviously, but they’re just, you know, staying safe and they just are rolling with the punches," Solomon says.

Solomon says the University has done a good job of communicating and being transparent with its students. First year graduate student Josh Martini agrees.

“We’ve been receiving pretty regular emails just about almost every day about like the situation and what’s been going on and what kind of precautions we need to continue taking,” Martini said.

In addition to taking graduate courses, Martini also teaches a class at UVA and says students have been adhering to regulations but there’s always going to be a reason for concern surrounding the pandemic.

“Definitely a concern because it’s young people in general, and sometimes they don’t want to follow the rules,” Martini said.

Solomon says he believes that students on grounds are holding up to the high standards set forth and as far as he’s concerned he’s just happy to be here.

Lefevre Hall was also tested for potential carriers. Those results are still being processed. UVA’s COVID Tracker has more information on the total number of cases, outbreaks, and virus trends at the university.

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.