University reports 61 new coronavirus cases


Junior Braiden Graham disinfects a handrail in a stairwell of Moore Hall on Oct. 6.

COVID-19 cases at Central Michigan University continue to rise with an increase of 61 new cases reported last week, according to the Fired Up for Fall webpage.

There have been 460 reported cases among CMU’s population since June 15. Of reported cases, 46 remain active among a campus population of about 15,500.

"Nearly all of the 61 cases reported Nov. 2-8 are linked to small, off-campus student gatherings during the Halloween weekend," said the Executive Director of University Communications Heather Smith. "The university is working closely with the local health department on contact tracing, isolation and quarantine to mitigate further spread of the virus, and we continue to closely monitor the situation."

According to CMU's Health and Safety Protocols, students, faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must quarantine themselves for 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

CMU Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer John Veilleux said there may appear to be a discrepancy between active cases and cases reported in the past 10 days since much of the data is out of date. But this is due to the university receiving many positive results after students complete their isolation, he said.

The rise in cases coincides with a recent nation-wide and state surge in new COVID-19 cases. According to a New York Times database, the U.S. shattered the new coronavirus case record when it topped 132,000 cases on Nov. 6. In Michigan, over 6,000 new cases were reported on Nov. 7, according to the state's website.

“Health officials are concerned, including those in our area,” said CMU President Bob Davies in a Nov. 6 email. “While the number of positive cases at CMU continue to be manageable, we must remain vigilant about our safety precautions.”

As of Nov. 9, there were 1,222 cases in Isabella County since the start of the pandemic, according to the Central Michigan District Health Department’s website. There have been 660 recoveries and 15 deaths.