Two students living in on-campus residence halls have tested positive for COVID-19, a University of Texas at Austin spokesperson confirmed Monday.
"Following our protocols, the individuals have been isolating and public health professionals have reached out to notify primary close contacts … advising them to get tested and self-quarantine," UT Austin spokesperson J.B. Bird told Austonia.
Bird said other contacts of the infected students were advised to self-monitor for any symptoms, practice social distancing and sign up for testing through UT's Proactive Community Testing program reserved for asymptomatic testing.
The students live in Jester and San Jacinto residence halls and have been isolated, according to a report by student newspaper The Daily Texan.
Residents of the Scottish Rite Dormitory, an off-campus house for women, received notification on Sunday that one of their peer residents had tested positive for COVID-19.
Prior to classes beginning on August 26, UT's own researchers estimated up to 183 students would arrive on campus during the first week of the semester already infected with the disease.
Since classes began last Wednesday, five people in the campus community have tested positive, according to the university's COVID-19 dashboard. (The dashboard does not yet include cases reported over the weekend.)
The university previously announced it has the capacity to test up to 5,000 asymptomatic people a week. During the week of Aug. 23, it tested 678 people, of whom one person received a positive result.
A number of colleges and universities across the country—including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Notre Dame—have recently shifted to online instruction after outbreaks occurred on their campuses.
In an Aug. 21 email sent to the campus community, UT Austin Interim President Jay Hartzell said the university will consider a number of metrics in deciding whether to move more classes online or close buildings on campus in the coming weeks.
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