After a recent increase in active cases of COVID-19, the University of Pikeville has temporarily moved its classes online and upgraded its response level to “level four.”
UPike President Dr. Burton Webb said that on Sept. 21, the university’s active cases increased to 15, with 90 students in quarantine. In order to conduct necessary contact tracing and cleaning, he said, the university upgraded its COVID-19 level from level two to level four, which provides protocols for the campus to follow in the event of a larger number of confirmed cases on campus.
“A few days ago, we started seeing a pattern of more positive cases,” Dr. Webb said. “We have to do contact tracing and cleaning. Our plan calls for if we can’t get contact tracing and cleaning done immediately, we move to level four.”
All students living on campus are being asked to study and remain in their rooms, Dr. Webb said, but they can leave if they want to get food. This is in order to limit the possible spread of the virus. All classes and meetings have been moved online for 72 hours, he said, and all university athletics have been suspended for 72 hours.
As of Sept. 21, UPike currently has 15 active cases, with 90 total students in quarantine. It has had 36 total positive cases since July 1, and 1,195 total negative tests since July 1 this year. 1,231 people have been tested since July 1 this year, according to UPike’s COVID-19 website.
Dr. Webb said that UPike has worked closely with the Pike County Health Department to develop its COVID-19 response plan in order to protect the safety of its students, faculty and staff, as well as the community.
“We take these precautions for a lot of reasons,” Dr. Webb said. “One of them is the safety of our students, we’re trying to limit the amount of spread that takes place on campus, but then also for the safety of the community because we don’t want the disease to spread in the community either. Both of those things are very important to us.”
UPike has four levels in its COVID-19 response plan and the levels are based on the COVID-19 activity of the community and campus. To learn more about its response plan, visit, www.upike.edu/healthy-at-upike/.