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After a spike, coronavirus cases on college campuses are trending down

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As the nation watches COVID-19 cases on college campuses continue to rise, North Dakota’s Chief Health Strategist says, here, the situation is better than he feared but worse than he’d hoped.

Currently, there are 368 active cases across North Dakota colleges and universities.

The University of North Dakota, the state’s largest college by a small margin, had 325 active cases alone, at its peak a couple of weeks ago. Today, Chief Health Strategist Dr. Joshua Wynne says that number is down to about 55 students, faculty and staff, out of thousands.

North Dakota State University, which is just slightly smaller than UND, has the most cases currently at about 150. But, Dr. Wynne says that number is on the way down too.

He says you can tell from the dramatic drop in active cases on campuses that the schools’ mitigation strategies are working.

“On the other hand, especially for the University of North Dakota, I would have preferred if we had been much more modest as far as the numbers– there really was a concerning initial uptick that now, knock on wood, appears to be under control,” Dr. Wynne elaborated.

He adds, there is not a mandate, at least at UND, requiring students or staff to stay on campus to quarantine. But, he says he strongly encourages students to stay on campus as much as possible, including over holidays, to avoid spreading the virus into their home communities.

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