COVID positivity rate on campus rises above 10 percent


Christopher Gannon

Thielen Student Health Center.

Molly Blanco

Iowa State reported a COVID-19 positivity rate of more than 10 percent for the week of Oct. 25 to 31, the highest rate so far this semester.

Out of 210 symptomatic tests conducted on campus for the week, 22 individuals tested positive for a positivity rate of 10.48 percent.

The positivity rate nearly doubled from the previous week. The previous positivity rate, recorded for the week of Oct. 18 to 24, was 5.56 percent with 216 tests conducted. 

“The public health team evaluates cases each day to look for trends such as where students live and what activities they are involved in. We have not seen any specific trends in regards to recent positive cases,” said Erin Baldwin, director of the Thielen Student Health Center.

According to Baldwin, the last positivity rate above 10 percent on campus was in mid-May. However, Iowa State changed its testing practices this year to test only symptomatic cases.

“It’s important to remember that current testing is focused on students that are symptomatic or who are known contacts of a positive case,” Baldwin said.  

The Iowa State COVID-19 dashboard reports the number of positive student tests weekly.

The current statistic only represents symptomatic cases and NCAA-required athletics testing. Therefore, the actual positivity rate may be higher because asymptomatic cases are not included in the statistic. 

The campus positivity rate also only includes tests conducted on-campus and does not include self-reported tests.

“A majority of positive cases have been unvaccinated,” Baldwin said. “The best protection is to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. We also encourage masking in indoor spaces and frequent hand-washing.” 

For more information about COVID-19 testing and positivity rates at Iowa State, visit the university’s Moving Forward website