Days after Rice University in Texas, US delayed in-person classes and shifted to online classes due to high coronavirus cases, it discovered that all of those cases were false positives.
Days after it moved its first two weeks of classes online due to a high number of students testing positive for the coronavirus, Rice University said Monday it has retested dozens of students and “all but one of those have turned out to be negative”, according to ABC News report.
According to officials, the university uses three different providers for its testing program. As it started to ramp up testing again, it conducted 4,500 tests in the first 9 days with initial results showing 81 positive results. Half of those positive tests came in last Thursday.
The university had used the results as the basis for its decision to shift classes online for the first two weeks of the semester and push back the start of classes by two days as the delta variant continues to surge throughout Texas and the Houston area.
“This unusual campus positivity rate prompted us to take quick action and assume a more cautionary posture until we could determine whether there was a significant risk of widespread infection,” wrote Kevin Kirby, chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee, in a letter to students.
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The university’s COVID dashboard now shows 27 positive tests since Aug. 13.
Rice began investigating and determined one of the testing companies had changed their protocols that determine test results without alerting Rice. The university asked the company to revert to their previous testing protocols, which they have done.
The university retested 50 people who previously tested positive twice with two different tests and all but one came back negative. They released those students from isolation.
While officials said the plans would remain in place, they said students who have delayed moving into residence halls can begin any time after Sept. 3.
Meanwhile, students at Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University will be fined up to $2,275 and lose internet access if they fail to comply with the university’s COVID-19 vaccination policies.
According to Mississippi Health Office, the patients of COVID-19 who refuse to self-isolate may be fined $5000 and even sent to 5 years in jail or both.
On the other hand, the CDC has announced that they will revoke the emergency use authorization given to RT-PCR for COVID-19 testing.