A month into the spring semester, coronavirus cases remain relatively low across North Dakota’s college campuses.
As of Monday morning, there are 30 total positive cases across the North Dakota University System’s 11 campuses. Those numbers are much lower than during a similar time period last semester when cases were high among college campuses a month into the year, most of which were at UND and North Dakota State University.
While case numbers have been low across the system, leaders are still urging caution and for students to continue to be tested for the virus.
Dr. Joshua Wynne, dean of the UND medical school and leader of the NDUS taskforce on COVID-19, said, during a recent State Board of Higher Education meeting, that schools should continue with their preventative measures, including mask wearing and social distancing until at least the summer, when the vaccine may be more readily available for faculty and staff.
He likened the system’s ongoing response to a traffic light signal.
This spring, the light would remain red, meaning campuses would continue the measures in place now.
In the summer, some of those restrictions may be relaxed, depending on the situation.
“Yellow, caution light for the summer,” he said.
Finally, this fall may be slated for a “new green light” under some form of a “new normal,” Wynne said.
As of early Monday afternoon, UND reported nine positive cases associated with the university, including eight students and one staff member. There are 13 total people in isolation or quarantine, five of which are isolating or quarantining in university-purchased hotels.
NDSU is reporting four total confirmed positive cases, all students, in the past 10 days as of 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 12. Of the students, two are in isolation in university housing and 11 students are in quarantine in university housing. Current positive cases include faculty, staff or students who have received a positive test within the past 10 days. This definition was adjusted on Dec. 2 from 14 days to 10 days.
Lake Region State in Devils Lake is reporting one student who has tested positive and is in isolation and one student who is currently quarantining as of Monday, Feb. 15.
Mayville State is reporting zero cases as of Sunday, Feb. 14.
Valley City State is reporting one active, positive case and one person in quarantine as of Friday, Feb. 12.
Bismarck State has seven active cases as of Friday, including one on-campus resident, four off-campus students and two employees. The college is monitoring six others in quarantine.
Dickinson State and Williston State also are reporting zero active cases as of Friday morning.
Minot State lists four active cases in its latest report, all of those cases are students who live off of campus.
Dakota College at Bottineau and North Dakota State College of Science each have two active cases associated with faculty and staff.