JSU sees rise in active COVID-19 cases following Thanksgiving break, Riley Green concert

Jacksonville State University reported 38 active cases of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, on Tuesday. (Courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration)Jacksonville State University reported 38 active cases of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, on Tuesday. (Courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration)

Luke Reed, Correspondent

Active cases of COVID-19 are on the rise at Jacksonville State University as it reported 38 active cases on Tuesday, an increase of 25 since Nov. 24.

The rise in cases is preceded by a Riley Green concert of 3,500 people held on Nov. 20 at Burgess-Snow Field, where many attendees ignored mask-wearing and social distancing protocols, just prior to students leaving campus for the Thanksgiving break.

“The increase in cases in the community and within the campus population is directly related to social events surrounding the Thanksgiving break,” said Jeff Ryan, JSU’s COVID-19 task force head and chief of program operations.

Ryan encouraged the community to continue practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and avoiding social gatherings.

“We are also experiencing colder weather, which causes more indoor activities and interactions,” he said.

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Calhoun County is reporting 7,300 cases of COVID-19, with 1,278 cases reported in the last 14 days as of Tuesday, according to the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency. 127 people have died from the virus in the county.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control revised its guidelines for people who have been exposed to the virus, recommending a quarantine of 10 or seven days. Individuals may quarantine for seven days — rather than 10 — if they receive a negative test, according to the CDC.

“As for the new quarantine guidelines from the CDC, we implemented them the day they were announced,” said Ryan. “We now direct anyone exposed to a positive case to quarantine for 10 days instead of 14.”

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