UAF Chancellor gives an update on the universities COVID precautions in the wake of Dunleavy announcement

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 5:07 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -In a press briefing Thursday, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Chancellor Dan White responded to the recent COVID-19 update video release by Governor Dunleavy.

“We really really welcomed the governor’s announcement this morning, though his Youtube video. We think it’s important," Said White.

UAF has been adhering to strict social distancing, masking, and remote operation measures this semester, and won’t be implementing any major new policies in response to Dunleavy’s announcement.

“The announcement as I read it is to work from home where possible, stay 6 feet away, wear masks... these are things that have been in place at the university already. So we will double down as the governor requested, but I think we will double down to make sure that the things we put in place are effectively working, which we believe that they are,” said White.

The university reports and records positive COVID cases from students, faculty and contractors, whether on or off campus, counting them as UAF cases. This record, available for viewing online, shows a very limited number of cases spreading at UAF.

“As of yesterday [Wednesday] our 14 day average is less than one, and our seven day average was less than one. Our individual days vary quite a bit. We’re frequently at zero, but it varies mostly between zero, one, and two. We’ve had a a handful of days [that] have been at 3,” said White.

A graph detailing the university’s positive case history is available online at the UAF COVID Dashboard.

“There was a little bump there after students moved in and then a little bump after Labor Day, and in both cases that did not lead to additional spread; but instead, in both cases, case counts went back down to zero or close to zero. So that’s an indication that social distancing and mask usage is effectively controlling the spread,” said White.

UAF serves as a case study in the effectiveness of the safety measures Dunleavy urges the communities of Alaska undertake for our mutual safety and health.

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