Over 1,500 COVID-19 tests administered on campus, only seven students test positive


Robyn Castro

Photo by Robyn Castro

Josh Peck, News Editor

As of Sept. 14, 1,548 COVID-19 tests have been administered on campus by Student Health Services and other UTSA health partners. Approximately 2,300 students are currently living in on-campus housing, and only seven students have reported positive tests as of Sept. 17.

Testing has sharply increased since the first week of the fall semester, when only four students were tested. This may be due in part to the surveillance testing program UTSA launched this week for Laurel Village and Chaparral Village residents that encourages asymptomatic students to get tested for free on campus if they live in UTSA-owned housing. 

Since the first week of classes, even as over 1,500 tests have been administered, only seven students and one member of the faculty or staff with a direct campus impact have tested positive for COVID-19. Positive cases are considered to have a direct campus impact if the individual “has been on the UTSA campus within two days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms or receiving a positive COVID-19 test,” according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard

The lack of a surge in positive COVID-19 cases on campus may reflect broader trends occurring in San Antonio. Although the city is averaging approximately 130 new COVID-19 cases per day, it has leveled out from mid-August when the city was averaging nearly 250 cases each day. 

UTSA’s low case count might also be attributed to the university’s efforts to encourage social distancing and mask-wearing among students, faculty and staff; introduce plastic barriers in high-traffic areas; limit the numbers of individuals allowed in rooms and buildings; and remove seating to separate students. The university has also been quarantining and isolating students living in on-campus housing when they test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone who has contracted the virus. Six students are currently in isolation or quarantine in on-campus housing.