Active JSU COVID cases drop to 75; Killingsworth says lack of caution caused initial spike

Miranda Prescott, News Editor

Jacksonville State University is monitoring 75 active cases of COVID-19, according to the university’s dashboard, a decrease of 101 cases since last Thursday. This is a percentage decrease of 65.75 percent.

The decrease comes after cases began surging shortly after classes began, peaking at 219 cases on Sept. 1.

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“The spike we saw in the first week of classes was definitely caused by students returning to campus and not wearing masks and not social distancing,” said Don Killingsworth, JSU’s president, in a phone interview with The Chanticleer.

Killingsworth said that there have not been any cases of students transmitting the cases to faculty, nor have there been any hospitalizations.

“The numbers have come down thanks to contact tracing and the work of our contact tracers and COVID task force,” said Killingsworth. “Our contact tracers work with students who have tested positive and ask them specific questions to gauge who else they need to contact that may need to quarantine or isolate.”

Despite the initial spike in numbers, Killingsworth said, the overall campus has done well and majority have done as they’re asked, though the virus is still “prevalent and dangerous.”

On Wednesday, the university, citing a decrease in COVID-19 cases on campus, announced that the pause on in-person student organization events would be lifted, but that new restrictions and directives would be in place for organizations. The restrictions are part of “caution level 3,” which prohibits alcohol at student organization events and disallows in-person activities of more than 20.

The Chanticleer has been keeping up with the updates to the COVID-19 active case numbers provided by the university. Those numbers can be viewed on our website.

The current graph provided by the Chanticleer begins on Aug. 21, with 44 cases. This data is updated each time the JSU dashboard is updated.

According to the Calhoun County EMA, there are currently 2,615 total cases of COVID-19 in the county. 405 cases have been confirmed over the course of the past 14 days. 29 are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Calhoun County, and 31 are confirmed dead from the virus.

Alabama currently has 134,417 positive cases. 2,285 have died as a result of COVID-19 in the state. 

Correspondent Ashleigh Crouch contributed reporting on this story.

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