TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State University is reporting 1,498 cases of coronavirus across its entire faculty and student body but most patients have made a full recovery, university officials announced Monday.
ASU says 1,469 students and 29 faculty and staff members have tested positive since August.
Of those, 1,139 students have been medically cleared. ASU also says 144 staff members have been cleared and that number includes some faculty members who tested positive before the testing surge began.
That figure is out of over 100,000 people across the university’s campuses.
"Arizona’s positive COVID-19 case count has been decreasing since its peak in June, and trending downward very steadily since the end of June," the university said on its Management Strategy website.
Students and faculty have been back in classes since Aug. 20. Since then, the number of COVID-19 cases on the four campuses has been growing.
The university reported 1,305 students had tested positive along with 25 staff members during its last update on Sept. 9.
ASU is keeping track of data online reporting current cases but not cumulative ones.
This has caused some to question if university officials are being transparent enough, but President Michael Crow said ASU is using all of their resources including testing as well as requiring both students and employees on campus to use a daily health check mobile app to slow the spread and isolate cases.
During a Zoom interview last Wednesday, Crow said:
"We are a 24/7 institution. We have people living on campus, we think every day for the last 70 years. We've had people working 24 hours a day for decades. The campus has maintained all of our research groups in different working modalities obviously during COVID."
ASU has been less than transparent about its COVID-19 case count since the start of the pandemic. So far, only publicly reporting current cases and not cumulative like state and county health departments.
“Our report is not a public health report. Our report is a report on the status of operation of the university,” said Crow.
However, this will now change. Crow said last week that the university will begin reporting:
- Cumulative Cases
- New Cases
- Numbers of students cleared for return after quarantine
ASU has also suspended several students who have violated the college’s rules about social distancing.