Student comes back to school for the Fall 2020 Semester.
A student leaves the library at the beginning of the semester. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)
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Active COVID-19 cases among TCU students have decreased by almost half since last week.

The university reported 231 active student cases Friday, a decline from the 444 student cases reported Aug. 28. Total active cases dropped to 244 from 447 since last Friday.

“TCU has seen a downward trend in active student cases,” the university said in a statement. “We expect cases to fluctuate, but we are encouraged by campus participation in our efforts to keep the community healthy.”

At the Faculty Senate meeting Thursday, Chancellor Victor Boschini expressed optimism at the current decline in case numbers, but he said he knows the case count will fluctuate.

“It goes up and down,” Boschini said. “Right now it’s going down and way down by Saturday, which is great.”

Read more: Enrollment down 2%, TCU cancels spring break amid pandemic

Active employee cases rose this week, going to 13 from 3 last Friday. Boschini said none of those cases have been contracted through classroom interactions.

“The employees that have the virus, none of them contacted it through an academic interaction. It’s all been through social activities,” he said.

The week also saw a sharp rise in the number of recovered cases, which rose to 720 from 291. On Friday alone, 181 new recoveries were reported.

According to TCU’s COVID-19 dashboard, positive cases will be removed from the active case count once they meet the CDC guidelines for symptom-based recovery.

These guidelines include:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared;
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications;
  • And symptoms, such as cough and shortness of breath, have improved

Reporting concerns

Some faculty expressed concern that not all cases were being reported to the university at Thursday’s Faculty Senate meeting.

Specifically, they mentioned concerns about students going off campus to get tested and not reporting the results to TCU.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Kathy Cavins-Tull said the university has been in contact with local test providers and that all tests of students who are living on campus are being reported to the university.

For students living off-campus, the providers are asking for consent to report their positive result to the university to help ensure accurate reporting. If they decline, the health department follows up on their case.

“It’s my job to be sure that one, we’re taking care of our students and their health and safety is my first priority,” Cavins-Tull said in a previous interview with TCU 360. “Also, we’re accountable to the health department to try to control and maintain health and safety on our campus.”

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Benton McDonald is a senior journalism and political science double major from Austin, Texas. He has worked for TCU360 since his freshman year and is currently the executive editor.