No daily coronavirus cases reported at once-ravaged Miami University campus

Miami University screened and tested students on their return to move into campus housing on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.

For the first time in months, Miami University reported no new cases of students testing positive for coronavirus on Sunday.

The school’s main Oxford campus now has no student residence halls under coronavirus preventative plans requiring students to stay in their rooms as well, Miami officials said Tuesday.

But school officials warn it will take the continued and combined efforts of students and staffers to keep the number low.

As of Sunday’s update on Miami’s coronavirus dashboard, the school has registered for the first time since August no new students testing positive.

It’s a reversal of an upward trend the school saw in September and earlier this month when the tallies for new student cases sometimes jumped by dozens in between the periodic updates compiled by the school and county health officials.

A New York Times survey of U.S. colleges and universities updated Thursday showed Miami ranked 14th nationally in number of cases for a school. Ohio State ranked No. 5 nationally, and the University of Dayton (32) and University of Cincinnati (70) in the region were also in the Top 100.

But the latest data update shows the trend is slowing.

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“We are pleased that the number of positive cases on campus is trending downward and that we currently have no residence halls operating under the Remain in Room plan,” said Carole Johnson, spokeswoman for Miami University.

“Our community’s diligence in wearing masks, limiting gathering sizes, maintaining physical distancing, and following the Remain in Room plan is certainly reflected in these numbers."

But the work of coronavirus prevention isn’t over, she warned.

Students have a responsibility not only for protecting themselves but also their loved ones when they return home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“If we grow lax and attend Halloween parties this weekend or election day watch pParties next week, we could see an increase in cases right as students are planning to travel home for the Thanksgiving holiday. We are urging our community to remember that Thanksgiving dinner tastes much better at home than in isolation or quarantine on campus and to remember that bringing the virus home with you could imperil vulnerable or elderly loved ones,” said Johnson.

“While our efforts have paid off, the next several weeks are a critical time to prevent further increases in positive cases and strains on health care resources. We need our campus community to remain committed to our safety and testing programs and to continue their efforts to protect themselves and each other.”

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