ASU confirms 161 COVID-19 cases on and off-campus between students and staff

ASU confirms 161 COVID-19 cases on and off-campus between students and staff
Posted at 9:38 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 00:38:08-04

Arizona State University confirmed Tuesday night that it has received 161 positive COVID-19 tests from within its community of students and staff.

ASU said in a statement that it has collected 32,729 test results across its four campuses, including students living on and off campuses. ASU also noted that it has approximately 100,000 students and employees "going in-person to campuses on staggered days to maintain physical distancing." (ASU did not clarify if the 32,729 tests were all individual people or if some people have been tested more than once.)

President Michael Crow also released additional clarification on school health policies after rumors of several off campus parties were reported recently.

"COVID management will require us to make changes and adjustments on a daily basis. Today, I am further clarifying some of our policies related to conduct:

  • Students engaged – whether hosting or attending - in social gatherings on or off campus that do not adhere to public health protocols will be subject to suspension.
  • Face coverings have been required in all ASU buildings. They have also been required in outdoor spaces when social distancing hasn’t been possible. Effective immediately, face coverings are required at all times in all ASU outdoor spaces (except when eating).
  • We have a no-visitor policy in our residence halls – this includes students who live in other residence halls. Students who violate the no visitor policy will be subject to suspension and evicted from university housing.
  • All students and employees must comply with our Community of Care guidelines to be on campus."

The announcement of case numbers comes after criticism within the community that the school was not being transparent enough about reported cases.

A Valley mother says a little more than a week after her daughter moved into the dorms on Tempe’s campus, a student on her daughter’s floor tested positive.

“I wonder how bad will it get before they actually say enough is enough,” said Tyna Metzner. Her daughter, a freshman, is living in the dorms in Tempe in the Palo Verde West.

Metzner said it was a hard decision to allow her daughter to move-in on campus, but they felt comfortable with ASU’s detailed plan for COVID-19.

“We’ve reached out to so many people and nobody is getting back to us, it’s almost as if they don’t want to acknowledge this, it’s almost ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil,’” said Metzner.

"I know there has been and will continue to be interest in this number. What I am committing to are regular updates about our COVID management strategy," Crow said.

Crow did not specifically make a commitment to updating the school's case numbers in the future.

To read his full statement online, click here.