FSU shows signs of improving COVID-19 numbers

A sign reads, "Please maintain social distancing." (Capitol News Service)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Officials at Florida State University say COVID-19 numbers are starting to improve.

So far, the university has identified 1,428 cases since reopening for the fall semester, but in the latest report, positivity rates and case numbers appear to be trending downward.

Herds of students walking the university’s campus have been reduced to solitary pedestrians dawning face masks, and FSU Vice President of Student Affairs Amy Hecht says it’s a sign that students are taking the coronavirus seriously.

“There are so many of our students that are abiding by our guidelines, want to be here, want to keep the community safe,” Hecht said.

Hecht says the numbers suggest the same. Following a week of more than 400 new cases and a positivity rate of 12.9%, the university’s newly released report shows 178 new cases and a positivity rate of 6.7%.

“Although we’re not out of the woods, I do think we’re headed in the right direction,” Hecht said.

Among those who tested positive was FSU head football coach Mike Norvell.

“I am not aware of how I came into contact with it,” said Norvell during a Monday news conference.

The university announced it plans to revisit its policies for home football games after attendees were seen crowding together in the stands and not wearing face masks. The changes are expected to be announced sometime this week.

Hecht says most of the students who are testing positive appear to be contracting the virus off campus.

“Little to no transmission in our classes or in our facilities, our fitness center,” Hecht said.

In an effort to curb transmission, the university announced students who test positive and break quarantine will face possible suspension.

“So that students understand the severity of violating isolation and knowingly exposing others to COVID,” Hecht said.

The university is asking students to help hold bad actors accountable. Students can report concerning behavior on the university’s website.