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Cases at UO spike; three outbreaks tied to dorms

It's less than two weeks since the start of winter term at the University of Oregon and cases are already climbing.

Posted: Jan 15, 2021 11:56 AM
Updated: Jan 15, 2021 7:04 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Less than two weeks since the start of winter term at the University of Oregon, cases are already climbing.

In the past two weeks, the university has reported 172 cases tied to campus. More than 100 of those were reported in just the past week.

Unlike in the past, many of these cases -- more than half -- are happening inside residence halls.

The first week of winter term was entirely remote to give students time to quarantine and get tested. Still, some students say they’re not entirely surprised to see the spike.

“It’s frustrating. We want to go out and do stuff too, but it’s just not safe,” said Megan Lewis, a senior at UO.

Many said they are not surprised about the spike in cases -- a likely result of students returning from break.

“It’s a tough situation right now with everyone coming back from breaks and traveling. It’s unfortunate,” said Zack Connolly, a UO senior.

In a statement, the university said it’s not surprised either, given the rapid spread of the virus across the country.

“Given the increase in cases being experienced locally, regionally and nationally, we did anticipate similar numbers as students returned to our residence halls for winter term,” said Kay Jarvis, a spokeswoman for UO.

Jarvis said the school has a robust system in place to test students who live on campus and move them into quarantine as necessary.

According to the latest data from Lane County Public Health, three outbreaks have been documented in residence halls at UO.

“Last fall, the rate at which identified contacts became positive was lower in our residence halls than in the general Lane County population as a result of this regimented approach. We are hopeful our testing and tracing efforts toward quarantine and isolation will offer similar results for winter term,” Jarvis said.

UO cases as of Friday January 15, 2021.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154878

Reported Deaths: 2206
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31824528
Washington21099212
Marion18373285
Clackamas13328175
Lane10200126
Jackson8315111
Umatilla763982
Deschutes593459
Yamhill376764
Linn357756
Malheur334458
Polk303942
Klamath278455
Douglas244754
Josephine232849
Benton232516
Jefferson195128
Coos144019
Union128119
Columbia124821
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106429
Morrow104614
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6507
Curry4246
Tillamook4142
Lake3746
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
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