Miami U. sees another jump in COVID-19 cases to at least 125

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Miami University has seen another jump in coronavirus cases, according to county health officials who Wednesday warned students to be more diligent in protecting themselves and others.

Health officials said this most recent jump in the number of those testing positively included many Miami student athletes.

“The majority of new cases are among MU student-athletes and those they came in contact with,” said Jennifer Bailer, Butler County General Health District commissioner.

Bailer noted since Aug. 17 there have been 125 positive cases have been reported from local labs from Miami students, with at least 100 tests pending at this time, she said, adding “this does not include students who received tests at labs in other cities or states.”

“The increase in cases is a reminder of how contagious and easily spread this virus is. You can be asymptomatic and still spread the infection to others,” said Bailer.

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“Continuing to protect others and ourselves by following all public health guidelines is critical in reducing the spread,” she said while urging Miami students to avoid large gatherings or parties, avoid crowded places while wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

The university was informed by health officials Monday that 27 student-athletes from various teams tested positive for COVID-19. The fall sports season has been canceled, but athletes have been on campus working out and practicing.

Miami’s latest uptick in coronavirus cases mirrors what many universities are seeing across the nation though the school is only conducting online classes with in-person learning not scheduled to start at its main campus in Oxford — and regional campuses at Hamilton and Middletown — until Sept. 21.

About 16,000 students attend Miami’s main Oxford campus, with many living in off-campus housing in the Butler County city.

Miami University reported 12 COVID-19 cases during its first week of classes, which started Aug. 17 with only remote learning.

The number of students testing positive for the coronavirus may be higher, Bailer cautioned as she noted “these figures are based on cases reported to the Butler County General Health District.”

“Due to the increase in private labs administering tests and the possibility that not all cases are reported to BCGHD, the information above may not include all cases of COVID-19 among Miami University community members,” she said.