Ohio State reports its highest COVID-19 positivity rate, nearly 10%, after students return from winter break

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Ohio State University reported a nearly 10% COVID-19 positivity rate this week.
Ohio State University reported a nearly 10% COVID-19 positivity rate this week.

It's been nearly two weeks since Ohio State University students made their way back to campus for spring semester, and the COVID-19 positivity rate is nearly 10% on campus.

Ohio State administered 18,540 PCR tests to students, faculty and staff members from Jan. 10 to Jan. 14. Of those tests, 9.8% came back positive. Among just students, the positivity rate is 9.9%, according to OSU's COVID-19 dashboard.

This is the highest COVID-19 positivity rate Ohio State has reported since the university began recording seven-day resting averages in August 2020.

Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson consistently praised the campus community last semester for being able to maintain a very low COVID-19 positivity rate. The seven-day rolling average was about 1.23%.

More Ohio State students testing positive for COVID-19

The university hasn't officially updated its COVID-19 dashboard since before students left for winter break on Dec. 16. The positivity rate on campus then was 2.57%.

All students living in university housing are required to get tested weekly, regardless of vaccination status.

COVID-19 at Ohio colleges: Greater Columbus colleges cautiously approach spring semester as COVID-19 cases surge

University spokesman Ben Johnson said the dashboard hasn't been officially updated to reflect these numbers because public health experts on campus say there hasn't been enough data available yet. The first day of classes and university closures for Martin Luther King Jr. Day affected some data collection for testing and positivity rates. The dashboard will be regularly updated again on Monday.

Ohio State also some other news to share this week.

About 93.2% of students, faculty and staff members reported they were partially or fully vaccinated as of Jan. 18. The student vaccination rate was 93% and the employee rate was 93.4%. That's up slightly from the 92.5% of all Buckeyes who reported being vaccinated before winter break.

COVID at Ohio State: Fewer than 25 unvaccinated Ohio State students will have to live off campus next semester

Ohio State administered 18,540 PCR tests to students, faculty and staff members from Jan. 10 to Jan. 14. Of those tests, 9.8% came back positive.
Ohio State administered 18,540 PCR tests to students, faculty and staff members from Jan. 10 to Jan. 14. Of those tests, 9.8% came back positive.

Sheridan Hendrix is a higher education reporter at the Columbus Dispatch. You can reach her at shendrix@dispatch.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @sheridan120. Sign up for her Mobile Newsroom newsletter here.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State reports nearly 10% COVID-19 campus positivity rate

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