Coronavirus

The University of Cincinnati (UC) recorded a total 62 weekly positive cases among students and employees for the week of Nov. 8, according to preliminary public health data. 

Of the total 515 COVID-19 screening tests conducted from Nov. 6 – 12, just 11 tests came back positive, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard. That’s a weekly positivity rate of 2.14%.

The university’s weekly testing positivity rate remains well below that of the surrounding area. Hamilton County’s positivity rate was 7.19% and the statewide positivity rate was 11.58% over that same period, data shows.

Officials say the university’s COVID-19 dashboard largely represents the mandatory screening tests conducted among unvaccinated residential students, which is the highest risk population on campus. 

Students are required to self-report if exposed to someone with COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19. Those experiencing symptoms can schedule an appointment for testing at one of the university’s symptomatic testing locations. 

The university has implemented several changes to its pandemic policies and procedures for fall semester, including the adoption of a universal indoor mask mandate and COVID-19 vaccine requirement. 

Students, faculty and staff who are not already fully vaccinated were required to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 15, and those receiving a two-dose vaccine were required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15. 

More than half (56%) of Hamilton County’s total population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 61.5% of the population has at least one dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There are 14 counties in Greater Cincinnati designated as areas with high community transmission based on CDC levels, according to regional public health data released Monday. 

Community transmission remains high across the region, and health officials say cases “are on the rise” in the region.

“The number of COVID-19 positive patients in hospital and ICU beds also remains high and is starting to increase,” officials said. “Hospitals remain quite strained with a total of 95% normally staffed regional hospital beds in use and 96% of normally staffed ICU beds in use.”

According to the data, there were 335 confirmed COVID-19-positive patients in the region’s hospitals. Of those, 102 were in intensive care and 74 were on ventilators. 

Among the positive patients in ICUs across the region, health officials are tracking a seven-day moving average of 79% on ventilators. 

“Approximately 11% of all patients in hospitals right now have COVID-19,” regional health officials said. “The buffer most hospitals rely upon is filled by these patients and, as a result, regional hospitals define their strain using the terms: ‘critical operations.’”

There’s currently a seven-day moving average of about two COVID-19 deaths in Southwest Ohio, according to the data. 

UC updates its coronavirus dashboard weekly. More information about the university’s pandemic protocols can be found here.