As UND sees an uptick in coronavirus cases, UND President Andrew Armacost is asking students to take “moral responsibility” to keep others safe when off campus by wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
He urged students to wear masks off campus, even if there is no city mandate requiring them to do so.
“I know that it's hard,” Armacost said in a campus video Friday. “I know it's hard to be the one person who's wearing a mask. But trust me on this: when you start wearing masks, others will follow. This is what happens when you're a good leader, you take these steps.”
Armacost said he’s seen pictures and videos from events that have happened off campus that have caused him “great concern,” including “people recklessly gathering in tight spaces in large numbers in close proximity to each other without face coverings.”
There were 158 active, self-reported cases related to UND as of 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, according to UND’s COVID-19 dashboard. That number includes four faculty, 32 staff and 122 students.
There were also 331 in quarantine or isolation, including 52 in university-purchased hotel rooms for isolation or quarantine.
In the campus video, Armacost noted that UND’s numbers have been creeping up steadily the last 10 days to two weeks. He said the resources the university has available are “sufficient and more than adequate to handle this number of cases.” The university has its own set of contact tracers and a “significant” number of hotel rooms available for quarantine and isolation.
“I think we're well positioned to handle this increase in cases,” he said.
The University Children’s Learning Center at UND will close for two weeks after the facility was notified that a caregiver with the facility tested positive for COVID-19, according to a post on UND’s COVID-19 blog.
Family members of students at the center and UCLC personnel have been notified, the post said. The UCLC is expected to reopen at 7 a.m. Monday, Nov. 9.
Grand Forks County reported an additional 142 positive, active cases in the state’s Saturday report. The county now has 720 active cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday. Across the state there are 6,310 active cases of the virus.
Other campus numbers
Other campuses have been experiencing fluctuating COVID-19 numbers over the past 10 days.
North Dakota State University reported 99 confirmed positive cases, including 89 students and 10 employees, in the past two weeks as of 9 a.m., Friday, Oct. 23. Of the students, 15 are in isolation in university housing and 109 students are in quarantine in university housing.
Mayville State’s website shows five total active cases related to the university, including four active cases among on-campus residents and one distance learning student as of Friday morning.
Lake Region State College in Devils Lake reports eight active student cases, including seven who are in isolation off campus and one student who is in isolation on campus as of Saturday morning. There are 39 students in quarantine. The campus dashboard shows one positive employee case and two employees in quarantine.
Valley City State’s dashboard lists 17 active, positive cases of COVID-19 as of Friday morning. There are an additional 33 close contacts in quarantine.
Dakota College at Bottineau shows 18 positive cases related to campus as of Friday, including 13 on-campus students, two off-campus students and three employees. There are 16 in quarantine.
Minot State University has 25 active cases related to the university as of Saturday morning. That number includes one on-campus student, 18 students who live off campus and six employees. Another 79 are being monitored as close contacts, according to the Minot State dashboard.
Williston State College has four active cases as of Friday.
Dickinson State University has three active cases of COVID-19 as of Friday morning.
The dashboard for Bismarck State College shows there are 24 active cases of coronavirus related to the college as of Friday. That number includes one on-campus student, 18 off-campus students and five employees. A total of 61 people are being monitored as close contacts.
The North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton has 13 active cases of COVID-19 as of Friday.