UAF

Pedestrians pass in front of Stevens Hall on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus Wednesday afternoon, July 12, 2017. 

More undergraduate students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have tested positive for COVID-19, according to UAF Chancellor Dan White. 

Including these new cases, a total of 19 undergraduate UAF students have tested positive for the disease since Aug. 17. 

The university announced Saturday that the entire UAF hockey team and a number of other students had been quarantined after a player tested positive following an “off-campus social event” held on Aug. 22 at the private residence of one of the hockey players. Another incident linked to the Student Recreational Center resulted in quarantined students and a number of positive COVID-19 tests as well. 

As of Saturday night, 14 undergraduate students had tested positive and 37 were quarantined, according to White. As of Tuesday, that number of positive undergraduate student cases had been bumped to 17, and 50 students were quarantined both on and off campus.

Seven students who have tested positive are currently isolation in Stevens Hall on campus — a former residence hall that has specifically been placed on reserve as an isolation area for this year, according to UAF spokeswoman Marmian Grimes.

One of the new cases confirmed is a member of the UAF hockey team. It remains unknown if more than one of the new cases are related to the off-campus hockey “gathering.” Contact tracing is underway. 

“It’ll be up to the contact tracers to work through that and confirm what the new cases are linked to,” White said. “It’s my impression that two of the three were linked in some way to the event (off campus).”

Students who live on campus sign a specific compact upon move-in agreeing not to house visitors on campus, not to have overnight guests in dorm rooms and to adhere to “COVID-minded” behavior such as maintaining physical distance from others and wearing a mask when that’s not possible. 

Students who live off campus are not held to such a contract but agreed to a “pledge” to behave in a COVID-safe manner throughout the year. Violations of this pledge — such as hosting a party — will result in disciplinary action, the nature of which is yet unknown. White said that administrators are currently working through the situation to determine consequences. 

Students could receive a verbal warning or be suspended or expelled from UAF.

University related cases are grouped in three sections: undergraduate students, graduate students and staff members, and then faculty members. 

Currently, no faculty members have tested positive since the start of term. One graduate student has also tested positive along with two other individuals who are either staff members or graduate students. 

Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.