As colleges start the academic school year during a pandemic, coronavirus cases are turning up by the thousands. A New York Times survey of more than 1,500 American colleges and universities has revealed at least 51,000 cases and at least 60 deaths since the pandemic began.
It’s difficult to compare the pandemic efforts and outbreaks at different colleges because of the lack of a nationwide plan or process. Some colleges brought students back on campus, with required testing, quarantines, and smaller class sizes. Other colleges brought students back on campus, with very little, if any, requirements. While other colleges have chosen to go virtual for the Fall 2020 semester.
|College||Coronavirus Cases||Student Population||Percentage of cases/students (thousands)|
|Sam Houston State||169||15,000||11%|
|Stephen F Austin||42||9,000||04%|
|Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||15||8,000||01%|
|University of Houston||186||28,000||06%|
|UT El Paso||103||14,000||07%|
Using student population numbers, it becomes clear which colleges are experiencing a problem with cases within their student population. Interestingly, the Texas universities with the biggest percentage are the private colleges-Baylor, Rice, TCU, and SMU- along with a few public colleges- Tech, UT, and A&M.
Here is how well large public colleges in other states are faring:
|College||Coronavirus Cases||Student Population||Percentage of Cases|
|Arizona State University||375||40,000||09%|
|Ohio State University||514||43,000||11%|
|University of Alabama||1,367||30,000||45%|
|University of Florida||196||32,000||06%|
|University of Maryland||51||28,000||01%|
|Univeristy of Michigan||322||30,000||10%|
|University of North Carolina||1,100||20,000||55%|
|University of Penn||211||10,000||21%|
|University of Pittsburgh||119||18,000||06%|
|Univeristy of Virginia||119||16,000||07%|
Because colleges report data differently, and because cases continued to emerge even in the months when most campuses were closed, The Times is counting all reported cases since the start of the pandemic. With no national tracking system, colleges are making their own rules for how to tally infections. While The Times’s survey is believed to be the most comprehensive account available, it is also a near-certain undercount. Among the colleges contacted by The Times, many published case information online or responded to requests for case numbers, but at least 360 others ignored inquiries or refused to answer questions.