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Ohio State Sees Uptick In COVID-19 Positivity Rate During First Week Of Classes

Aerial view of The Oval on Ohio State University's campus
Ohio State University
Ohio State University
Aerial view of The Oval on Ohio State University's campus

As Central Ohio sees a drop in new coronavirus cases, Ohio State University's new president says the positive test rate for students has nearly tripled this week.

Fall semester classes started Tuesday, about two weeks after students started moving into residence halls.

"As you know, on Tuesday, we released Ohio State’s COVID-19 dashboard with data through Saturday that showed a student positivity rate of 1.16%. Over the last 24 hours, we have seen the student positivity rate rise to 3.10%," university president Kristina Johnson said in the email sent late Thursday.

Johnson says she's also concerned about the rate of COVID-19 transmission. Johnson says students, faculty and staff have to work to prevent the spread of the virus if they want to remain on campus.

On Tuesday, Ohio State reported 80 students and 12 faculty and staff members returning to campus tested positive for COVID-19.

As Ohio State cases increase, the overall drop in Columbus over the past several weeks is pushing Columbus City Schoolsto resume sports and other extracurricular activities starting Saturday.

Franklin County is among four counties that saw their public health emergency levels reduced on Thursday due to dropping rates of new COVID-19 cases. Under Ohio's Public Health Advisory System, Franklin County is now listed as a level two "orange," which indicates there is increased exposure of spread of COVID-19.

It is the lowest Franklin County has been since the alert system launched on July 7.