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As a new strain of coronavirus (covid-19) sweeps through the world, stay up-to-date on the latest preparedness plans, school closings, changed polling locations, and more in the Tri-State.

Miami University COVID-19 Cases Increasing

miami university
Courtesy of Miami University

The Butler County General Health District (BCGHD) says the number of positive COVID-19 cases at Miami University continues to increase. The health department reports 125 positive cases have been reported since Aug. 17, and at least 100 tests were still pending as of Wednesday afternoon.According to a news release those figures are based on what has been reported to the health district from local labs from students. The totals do not include students who were tested at labs in other cities or states or private labs that may not have reported data to the health district.

Miami University reported Monday evening that 27 athletes from various teams tested positive for COVID-19 and are quarantining, along with any coaches or staff with whom they may have had contact. The university says many though not all of those in the initial infection group attended an off-campus "gathering" over a week ago.

"The majority of new cases are among MU student-athletes and those they came in contact with," says Jennifer Bailer, BCGHD health commissioner. "The increase in cases is a reminder of how contagious and easily spread this virus is. You can be asymptomatic and still spread the infection to others."

Miami's fall semester began Aug. 17 with online classes. The university's current plans call for online/remote learning until at least Sept. 21.

In a letter to the Miami community Aug. 21, President Gregory Crawford says people coming onto campus must complete a daily symptom tracking survey via an app called Campus Clear.

"We are also working with our campus health provider, TriHealth, to expand on-campus testing," he writes. "The City of Oxford is also taking action and has passed an ordinance requiring facial coverings (accessible PDF) in any public space, and another ordinance prohibiting mass gatherings (accessible PDF) of more than ten people."

There is also a dashboard to track positive test results from the Employee Health and Student Health centers.