13 people tested positive for COVID-19 through UTEP program last week


CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Thirteen members of the university community tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week.

Anahy Diaz, Copy Editor

The highest number of people tested positive for the novel coronavirus between Sept. 21 and Sept. 27 through UTEP’s Coronavirus Proactive Testing Program, according to the university’s COVID Data Dashboard.

Last week, 13 people tested positive for COVID-19, which is technically the highest number through UTEP’s testing program, but still relatively low considering UTEP has an enrollment of more than 24,000 students and the City of El Paso already surpassed more than 24,000 positive cases. During the week of Aug. 31 through Sept. 6, the program revealed 12 positive cases — the second highest. The dashboard also reflects there were only three self-reported cases between Sept. 14. and Sept. 27 with the highest number of self-reported cases being eight between Aug. 31 through Sept. 6.

The university made it a goal to test up to 2,500 asymptomatic people affiliated with the university each week, the El Paso Times reports, but UTEP’s COVID-19 dashboard does not reflect the number of tests administered each week, so the positivity rate is unclear for each week since Aug. 24.

According to the program’s website, UTEP’s COVID-19 testing is only for enrolled students and employees who will be on campus during the fall semester and are not experiencing symptoms of the virus.

Individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, feeling ill or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 are encouraged to visit a community testing site or seek advice from their medical provider.

If a person tests positive, they receive a phone call from a UTEP Environmental Health and Safety employee, who then advises a person on the next steps. According to UTEP, the University will also identify which classes or offices the infected person attended and invite all those who may have been exposed to be tested.

UTEP students, faculty and staff, who are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms and are looking to get tested, may visit the different Coronavirus Proactive Testing Program sites at UTEP including the Fox Fine Arts Complex lower level courtyard, the breezeway between the Engineering and Classroom buildings, the Union breezeway and Undergraduate Learning Center patio.

For more information regarding the program, visit the UTEP’s COVID-19 website.

Anahy Diaz may be reached at [email protected]; @by_anahydiaz on Twitter.