UMD COVID-19 positivity rate jumps as in-person classes are set to start

The COVID-19 positivity rate at the University of Maryland College Park has nearly tripled in a week to 2.7 percent, according to the university's data dashboard.

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The previous week saw a 1 percent positivity rate, but a university spokesman cautioned that the increase was largely predicted, considering for the week ending September 12 that the testing focus was on symptomatic individuals.

The university also pointed out it tested fewer people last week.

The raw number of new cases was lower for the week, at 63, some of which were among student athletes.

Some in-person classes resume Monday, including labs and graduate-level courses.

Several students told FOX 5 the rising positivity rate and the start of in-person learning options concerned them.

"Personally speaking I don’t think it’s such a good idea," said student Chris Acha.

"I have a class, chemistry lab tomorrow starting at 12 p.m. I feel iffy about it," said freshman Bridget Falade.

Patrick Wojahn, the mayor of College Park, expressed hope that the case counts can remain under control.

Wojahn did say that city code enforcement officers have noticed parties that aren't large by pre-pandemic standards, but that violate the COVID-19 guidelines in place.

"What we have seen are smaller gatherings that still are large for the property that they're at and generally unsafe. We have been issuing penalties and fines for those," Wojahn said.


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