6 students at University of Alaska Southeast test positive for COVID-19

University of Alaska Southeast's Juneau campus on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. (Photo by Quinton Chandler/KTOO)
University of Alaska Southeast’s Juneau campus on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. (Photo by Quinton Chandler/KTOO)

Six students at the University of Alaska Southeast are in isolation at John R. Pugh Residence Hall after testing positive for COVID-19.

Lori Klein, the school’s vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment, said the students are doing well.

“We’re in touch with them daily, if not multiple times each day,” Klein said. “Our care team at the university is trying to provide wraparound services, including academic support, counseling, health, support for their housing situation.”

Klein said a student reported testing positive last Tuesday and subsequent testing to close contacts found the additional five cases. The university sent out an announcement about the cases on Friday.

A total of eight cases have been reported at UAS. That includes the current cluster on campus, along with a student who tested positive but returned to a home community and one case reported in August.

Klein also said the university is encouraging students, faculty and staff to rethink their plans if they’re thinking about traveling for the holidays.

“Particularly with COVID spiking in Alaska and across the nation,” she said. “However, we know that time away from school and time with family is very important to the mental health and well being of our university community.”

The university is asking everyone who may have been exposed or have even mild symptoms to report them immediately so they can test those individuals and find close contacts.

The City and Borough of Juneau reported 27 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Monday. The city currently has 49 active cases and no one is being treated for COVID-19 at Bartlett regional hospital.

An earlier version of this story reported that a total of seven COVID-19 cases have been reported at UAS. The total number of cases reported as of Wednesday is eight, according to the university.

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