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Drake University asks students to move out early amid increase in COVID cases

Health officials are asking Iowans who test positive for COVID-19 using an at-home rapid test to report results to their local health department.
Cedrik Wesche
Drake University administrators have asked students living on campus to move out as soon as possible amid rising COVID cases.

Drake University in Des Moines is moving the last week of its classes online and has asked undergraduate students who live on campus to move out as soon as possible, following a surge of new COVID-19 infections among students.

In an email sent out to the parents of Drake students this week, university administrators said there were a confirmed 255 COVID cases in students on Wednesday, with 75 cases reported in students who live in campus housing.

Wednesday's cases count marked a sharp increase from 107 cases reported on Tuesday.

The university said it was still waiting on the results of more than 500 tests as of Wednesday and expected the number of positive case count to further increase.

Administrators said they are moving the final week of classes online next week, excluding Law School and John Dee Bright College, and are requesting all undergraduates living on campus who are not in isolation move out as soon as possible.

"This will mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus, thus freeing up resources to support those residential students who need to isolate due to infection," officials said in the message.

The university said it is contracting with local hotels to provide additional rooms for students to isolate in.

"Drake follows the CDC recommendation that positive COVID-19 cases isolate for at least five full days and then wear a mask for an additional five days when around others."

Drake's spring semester ends on May 13.

A spokesperson for Drake University declined to comment further to IPR about the situation.

The number of COVID cases has increased across Iowa in the past month, as have hospitalizations, which still remain at near-record low levels.

As of Thursday, federal officials are reporting 89 Iowans are hospitalized with the virus.

Natalie Krebs is IPR's Health Reporter
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