USF adds new system to report positive COVID-19 cases

USF implemented a new system to allow individuals who are not tested at USF to securely report and upload their test results. ORACLE PHOTO

USF’s reported COVID-19 cases until now have consisted of positive tests reported through Student Health Services (SHS), but a new “sophisticated electronic system” now allows students and employees to report positive tests made at other test sites. 

This system has already processed 36 positive tests from individuals who were not tested at USF. These cases — all USF Tampa students — were uploaded to USF’s COVID-19 website on Tuesday afternoon and range from Sept. 13 to Oct. 5. Students who need to upload test results will need to reach out to Student Health Services to receive a link to report their results through MYChart, SHS’s patient portal.

Cases that are reported at testing sites not affiliated with USF are denoted by an asterisk in USF’s list of positive cases, which are arranged by the date the test result is reported to the university. The use of the asterisk to differentiate data from other testing sites is to “maintain transparency and allow members of the community to see the updated case numbers,” according to the USF COVID-19 website. 

Including the update, there have been 54 new COVID-19 cases reported at the Tampa campus in the last two weeks — an 11.2% increase from 482 cases to 536. 

Most of the cases reported at the Tampa campus in the last two weeks were from the student body, with students testing positive an average of 4.1 times more than the number of employees at the Tampa campus per day. 

The St. Pete campus has only seen two positive cases in the last two weeks at an equal rate between students and employees, and USF Health has had five more positive cases with its students testing positive at a rate of 0.66 times more than its employees per day.  

Only two positive cases have been reported from the Sarasota-Manatee campus, both of them students.

The USF cases page is in the process of being redesigned as well, according to university spokesperson Adam Freeman.

“The project is being worked on now and I anticipate some updates will go live sometime in the next couple of weeks,” said Freeman in email to The Oracle.

The redesign will include additional information not currently on the cases page, according to Freeman.