University of Chicago
Bob Crist | Getty Images
New cases of Covid-19 at the University of Chicago rose sharply this year, most of which had not been fully vaccinated, back from spring break, according to a study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. .
Despite several prevention strategies at the university, such as weekly tests for students living on campus, 158 cases of Covid were diagnosed among undergraduates between March 3 and May 3, according to the new study released. in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. it was done.
Of the 140 infected students surveyed, 89 said they had recently traveled outside of Chicago during spring break, and 57 attended an unpretentious indoor social gathering, such as a dinner party, the agency said. Or party, the agency said.
The CDC said the destinations included seven different countries and 23 US states, most often California, Colorado, Florida and New York. The most common reason for travel, according to the agency, was vacation.
In response to a cluster of cases, the university implemented a stay-at-home order for all students living on campus, banned gatherings and switched to distance education, the agency said. The stay-at-home order was lifted two weeks after new cases were discovered during further testing.
Notably, the outbreak occurred just before the expansion of vaccine eligibility in Chicago. According to the CDC, local health officials moved to “phase 2” of their immunization program, when undergraduates in the city were not eligible for vaccines until April 19. According to the agency, only three of the students who were infected were fully vaccinated.
The CDC said the campus outbreak shows the importance of hiding indoors and avoiding travel, especially for those who are unconvinced amid the rapidly increasing spread of the delta variant.
“These results demonstrate the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks on college campuses at the start of new school terms, after many student trips during breaks and when students participate in social gatherings indoors,” he said. writes the agency in the study. Eh.”
The new report comes a day before the start of Labor Day weekend, when many families are traveling across America and more schools are preparing to start their fall semester.
CDC director Dr Rochelle Valensky this week advised unvaccinated people not to travel on leave as the country continues to battle hospitalizations due to an increase in cases of Covid and the highly contagious Delta variant.
While the daily average of hospitalizations has fallen in recent days, U.S. officials and health experts say Labor Day could be a threat to the country’s progress.
“Labor Day weekend poses a greater risk as people return to work and school,” said Lawrence Gostin, director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on Law national and global health.
Of the students surveyed for the CDC study, 93 were unvaccinated and 43 were partially vaccinated, meaning they only received one dose of Pfizer or the two-shot Moderna vaccine.
The agency noted that the study has limitations, including some students who declined to be interviewed and others who provided potentially false information, such as refusing to travel when other students indicated they had done it.