College campuses have been a primary concern for health officials as the fall semester begins amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs explained that the MSDH is investigating outbreaks at both Ole Miss and the Mississippi University for Women.
During today’s press briefing, Dr. Dobbs stated that the outbreaks include “multiple students within specific groups” and that they are awaiting lab results on several potential cases.
“It’ll be a conservable number of students when it’s all said and done,” he said.
The Ole Miss outbreak was confirmed by the university this afternoon. The announcement states that 13 student-athletes and one employee have tested positive for COVID-19. SportsTalk Mississippi’s Richard Cross is reporting that the majority of these cases are not related to football.
Earlier today, #OleMiss reported 13 student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19, with 11 positive tests coming from the same team. Multiple sources at the university have confirmed the majority of positives were NOT football related.
— Richard Cross (@RichardCrossSTM) August 19, 2020
Dr. Dobbs stated that the outbreak at the MUW has some trace back to the Cotton District in Starkville.
“Not a big surprise. We know that when people socialize and get in concentrated groups, not wearing masks, they’re absolutely going to spread coronavirus,” he explained.
An announcement from MUW states that the juniors in its nursing program will shift to remote learning for 14 days after four students tested positive for COVID-19. An additional 71 students will quarantine for 14 days as a result.
Governor Reeves urged students to stay on campus as much as possible to protect themselves and to limit the potential spread of the virus within the community and the avoid bringing it home to their parents or grandparents.
Both the University of North Carolina and Notre Dame have shifted to online instruction after recently welcoming their students back to campus last week led to significant outbreaks.
During the briefing, Governor Reeves and Dr. Dobbs also discussed today’s uptick in new COVID-19 cases, the situation within Mississippi’s K-12 schools and more. Watch the full briefing below: