TCU works to contain COVID cases on campus

TCU photo from istock

Texas Christian University, like many universities around the country, are working to contain a COVID-19 outbreak on its campus.

On Friday, TCU reported 447 actives case on campus, up from 112 the week before. The cases are mostly students, half on campus, half off.

Last week, TCU told two sororities to self quarantine to slow the spread.

In a letter to students on Aug. 28, Kathy Cavins-Tull,  Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs, said she was pleased to see many students wearing masks on campus. However, she also cautioned: “I also need to talk frankly about the problem that we are still facing as a campus. We continue to see large gatherings in the residence halls and off-campus. It is natural for students to want to gather, but these gatherings are causing a great deal of virus spread in our community. Many students are now in isolation or quarantine this week due to parties that occurred over the last weekend.”

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The U.S. has recorded over 180,000 deaths from the coronavirus and 5.9 million confirmed infections. Worldwide, the death toll is put at more than 830,000, with at least 24.5 million cases.

Drugmaker Gilead Sciences said Friday that U.S. regulators are now allowing use of experimental antiviral drug remdesivir for all patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

It said the Food and Drug Administration has expanded its emergency use authorization, which lets doctors administer the IV drug during the pandemic. Until now, that was limited to patients with severe COVID-19.

Remdesivir previously was shown to shorten treatment by about four days for hospitalized patients with severe disease, compared with those getting standard supportive care.

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Surging infection numbers around the U.S. have been blamed in part on young people ignoring mask and social distancing requirements.

In Iowa’s Story County, home to Iowa State, 74% of new cases over the past seven days were among people ages 19 to 24, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday. In the same time period, 69% of new cases in Johnson County, the home of the University of Iowa, were in that age group.

“It is increasing the virus activity in the community, and it’s spilling over to other segments of the population,” Reynolds said.

Fueled in part by clusters where college students are returning to classes, Kansas has had its highest seven-day increase in coronavirus cases. – Associated Press contributed