Auburn University reported adding 21 new COVID-19 cases last week. This is a slight increase from last week, but overall much lower than the first three weeks.
GuideSafe performed 412 Sentinel tests in the period between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4, but did reported a 0% positivity rate. This means that all 21 cases reported by the University in this period were self-reported.
Dr. Fred Kam, director of the Auburn University Medical Clinic, said in his weekly update video that the new numbers reflected a low trend.
"We're in week eight of classes, and the numbers continue to have a trend of being low," Kam said. "So that's great."
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Kam said these low numbers were an indicator that the University would be able to finish the fall semester without having to return to fully remote instruction.
"We are going to Nov. 24," he said.
Despite the low numbers, Kam urged students to remain cautious and continue to follow the University and state guidelines.
"The challenge that we're going to face coming up is the social events that surround Halloween," he said. "As we head into October, it's really important that everybody makes good decisions. It's clear from what's going on that wearing a mask, physically socially distancing, hand sanitizing and keeping social bubble groups to as small as possible and avoiding larger groups is what's working for everyone."
Later in the video, Kam said that the COVID-19 trends across the country were starting to rise again.
"As we look at what's happening nationally, up to about two-thirds of the states are starting to report an uptick in new cases as well as hospitalization rates, et cetera, which concerns a lot of people as to whether or not we're seeing the start of a second wave," Kam said.
Alabama is not currently experiencing an increase in cases, but Kam said that is likely because the state is lagging behind the rest of the country.
Kam said the increase in cases can, in some ways, be attributed to dropping temperatures.
"As temperatures get cooler, people do more indoor congregations," Kam said. "Therefore, that, again, becomes an ideal environment for the virus to spread, and we are seeing that in states like Wisconsin and the Midwest which is where the biggest uptick in positive cases are happening right now."
As students start having midterms and projects due, Kam said it's important that they take care of their mental and physical health.
"Don’t forget the importance of taking care of your mental health as well as your physical health," he said. "Another thing that I think people need to work diligently on is getting protected against the flu. We’ve set up a couple flu clinics on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Student Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in room 2326 which is right next to Chick Fil A. So that’s convenient. I encourage people to consider getting their flu shot and getting it now."
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