October 13, 2020

U of L officials release limited COVID-19 data

By Joseph Garcia —

The University of Louisville is experiencing a spike of COVID-19 cases and university officials won’t share more information beyond what’s on the testing dashboard. Over the past four weeks, the positivity rate has remained above 2%, it’s highest was 4.38%.

Since the university started testing, there have been 653 total positive cases of the coronavirus as of Oct. 13. Yesterday, however, this number was 697. The university also updated the total number of administered tests, removing 1,593 tests.

U of L Director of Communications John Karman said that he would get back with more information on why these cases and tests were removed. At the time of writing he has yet to respond.

Out of the now nearly 35,000 tests administered, and only a few weeks left of the semester, it is still unknown how many active cases there are currently.

The Kentucky Office of Public Health requires universities to send information daily on their COVID-19 data. On Aug. 5, the Cardinal reported that according to the data sheet on the Governor’s website, U of L had 140 active cases.

Dr. Phillip Bressoud, executive director of Campus Health Services, said these numbers are not accurate.

“The state’s website isn’t even close to accurate.  [The number of] total tests performed, positives, negatives (total-positives), percent positive are all available on dashboard,” Bressoud said. “These are all the test results the university has or has sent to the health department.”

He has yet to provide The Cardinal with a more accurate number of active cases.

The public health office’s data sheet has also been updated and does not include information regarding the number of active and recovered cases. It now only reports the number of new cases each day along with the number of deaths and cases ever positive.

When asked to what capacity the university’s isolation spaces were occupied, Karman said while he doesn’t have specific numbers, “We have capacity available.”

“Obviously, the university knows how many students are in isolation in the 40 available beds,” Karman later added. “That is not information that is being released to the public. I’m only authorized to tell you that we do have space available.”

“The data on the dashboard is what the university has chosen to release publicly,” he said.

When asked if the university had more COVID-19 data it wasn’t sharing with the campus community, like the occupancy of isolation spaces and number of active cases, Karman said: “I can only address the data we are releasing. It’s on the dashboard.”

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *