Coronavirus on campus: UCF No. 2 in nation for confirmed cases

University dashboard reveals school has seen 438 cases so far

State approves UCF reopening plans for fall semester

ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Central Florida chalks up to No. 2 in colleges and universities reporting confirmed coronavirus cases.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the university’s coronavirus dashboard revealed there have been 438 cases reported to the school.

According to a New York Times report, UCF missed the No. 1 spot by 11 cases of COVID-19. The University of Texas Austin led the charge with 449 cases. The University of Florida comes in fifth, with the University of South Florida taking the No. 7 spot.

Reports of the virus on these campuses are not necessarily all students but do note the presence of the virus on campuses, the New York Times report states.

Florida colleges and universities moved to online learning March 17, a few weeks after the virus was first detected in the state.

Universities quickly shuttered classrooms and emptied dorms, limiting students from taking in-person classes through the summer. In the days leading up to August, universities across the state are preparing to welcome students back for the fall semester.

Though the UCF campus had become a ghost town, the university managed to continue collecting data about students and staff who had contracted COVID-19.

UCF first started keeping track of cases relating to its campus on April 13 and announced in late June that it would create its own coronavirus dashboard.

“The dashboard will be generic in nature, in accordance with medical and student privacy laws and public health best practices,” officials said in a news release.

As of Wednesday, the dashboard shows one statistic: positive COVID-19 cases reported to UCF from April 13 through July 24. Students and staff are encouraged to call the university’s COVID Line at 407-823-2509 as the school only keeps track of cases they are made aware of.

Though what can be assumed to be an undercount, the university may see that number rise as its reopening plans approved by the Florida Board of Governors include targeted testing and in-person classroom learning.

UCF said it plans to test certain students such as athletes and those who live on campus. All students are not required to be tested. University leaders also outlined plans to limit capacity in classrooms and lecture halls, stagger seating to provide more physical distance between students and require those in university buildings to wear a face covering.

Labs and health care buildings are excluded from these modifications, but students and staff will be required to wear personal protective equipment to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

According to data collected by the New York Times, UCF is one of few universities reporting more than 50 cases that is offering in-person or hybrid learning as an option.

Though most universities are reporting a virus outbreak among its sports teams and athletic departments, UCF has not mentioned if the cases its counted have stemmed from athletes, though students participating on sports teams will undergo coronavirus testing when classes resume in the fall.

For more information and resources on how UCF is handling the pandemic, visit the university’s dedicated coronavirus resource page here.