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Longwood expands COVID-19 dashboard

Longwood University expanded its COVID-19 dashboard over the weekend, making the move to include data points such as faculty/staff cases and self-reported positives from students, staff and faculty tested outside of the University Health Center.

The dashboard’s new look also includes the number of cumulative cases among students, faculty and staff as well as the current active cases.

As of press time Wednesday, Sept. 9, Longwood’s dashboard listed the university as having a cumulative total of 17 cases of the virus, with nine active cases. The cumulative total included four self-reported student cases and one self-reported staff/faculty case. No Longwood staff or faculty members have tested positive at the University Health Center.

On Wednesday afternoon, Longwood University Assistant Vice President of Communications Matt McWilliams said the university had “a few dozen” students in quarantine as of the previous day’s update, some of which were awaiting a test result and others considered “contact exposed” and waiting out a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

McWilliams said most of those students were quarantining off-campus.

When asked what criteria University Health Center staff look for when determining whether or not to test students, staff and faculty, McWilliams said health center workers screen each patient who calls in for an appointment with what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define as symptoms of COVID-19.

He said the center is not currently accepting walk-in patients. All patients must call to make an appointment, and tests are conducted for members of the university community who show any symptoms the CDC has identified.

McWilliams said if a Longwood community member does not display any of these symptoms and has not been exposed to a known positive case, they are asked to continue practicing preventative guidelines while monitoring themselves daily for symptoms, a protocol he said is mirrored at other local healthcare providers not affiliated with the university.

Hampden-Sydney College COVID-19 cases increased this week, with the college listing 18 total positive test results and eight active cases as of Wednesday evening’s update. The college also saw an increase in the number of students quarantining, a figure that sat at 67 by the Wednesday update.

Gordon Neal, the director of communications and marketing for Hampden-Sydney College, said students who are quarantining are given the option of doing so either at home or in an on-campus quarantine space, adding many students are electing to go with the first option.

Neal said a new residence hall which opened this fall provided some timely additional dormitory capacity for students, and a planned renovation of the college’s Venable Hall was postponed in order to make the facility available for quarantine space.

He added students with their own private rooms which include a private bathroom can choose to quarantine in their own room.

“The college has ample capacity for quarantine space, and should the need arise, additional college-owned properties traditionally used to house visitors provide extra flexibility,” he said Wednesday.