The University of Delaware is making some on-campus policy changes in the midst of their biggest COVID-19 spread of the pandemic.
UD is reporting that 145 students and two employees have tested positive for COVID in the past two days. That already exceeds their weekly high of 135 from November 15. They did not report the amount of tests taken, although there was 3,090 asymptomatic and 50 symptomatic tests performed last week.
As a result, beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 25, 2021, dining halls and food court items will be grab-and-go only. The Trabant and Perkins student centers will be reduced to 25%, and students will not be allowed to congregate to eat meals indoors, including in dorm room common spaces. They will be allowed to do so outdoors.
No guests will be permitted at dorm rooms, and capacity limits are being put in place at lounges and public spaces.
Classes remain in their current status, although UD said changes "may be necessary in the future if the number of positive cases on campus continues to rise."
Campus events are limited at 10 people, but are strongly encouraged to be held remotely.
Blue Hen athletics will continue, but fans are still not permitted to attend, with no mention of next Saturday's season-opening football game. The Carpenter Sports Building is being reduced to 25% capacity, and by appointment only.
On-campus students have been part of a required weekly COVID testing program by appointment only. Student Health Services has also been randomly selecting off-campus students to test.
More than half of the University of Delaware's available dorms are filled for the spring semester. Seventeen-percent of UD's 3,858 undergraduate courses are being offered in-person this semester.
Dr. Karyl Rattay reported on Tuesday that Newark's 19711 zip code, which surrounds UD, is one of just six in the state with an elevated COVID-19 rate of 250 cases per 100,000 people or a positivity rate of 15% or higher. The others were Hockessin, Magnolia, Felton, Harrington, and Selbyville.