By Dillon Thomas

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado State University is moving forward with in-person learning as the university’s COVID-19 testing rates are coming back better compared to the University of Colorado at Boulder. Of nearly 19,000 COVID-19 tests administered since freshman move-in, only 1.2% of tests came back positive for COVID-19. In Boulder, the rate is currently just under 4%.

(credit: CBS)

CSU has invested more than $2 million thus far just in administering tests for students, and preventing the spread among classrooms and dormitories.

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A spokesperson for CSU said the university is pleased with their ability thus far to contain and prevent the spread among their student body. However, they noted that the virus has the capability of jumping on them at any time.

“We have heard a lot about our neighbors in Boulder, and some of the things CU has been experiencing. We are not in a position where we have that level of concern,” said Kelly DiMartino, Deputy City Manager for Fort Collins.

COVID-19 positive cases are rising as a whole in Larimer County. However, that trend has been taking place across the country as of late.

University of Colorado Boulder (credit: CBS)

“One primary age-range we are seeing an increase is in our 18-to-24-year-olds,” said Tom Gonzales, Public Health Director for Larimer County.

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The same age group is also sourced as the primary culprit for case increases in Boulder County. CU Boulder reports that, of more than 27,000 tests administered among the student body, 1,070 have come back positive for the virus. That is almost 4%, compared to CSU’s 1.2% positivity rate.

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“Of those 18,700 (tests CSU has administered,) we have had 186 positive cases,” said CSU President Joyce McConnell. “We have been able to keep it at the lower end because of how quickly we have been able to not only test, but contact trace and quarantine.”

McConnell applauded staff and students at the university for taking the virus seriously.

Out of the 186 positive cases confirmed, not a single case was traced back to a CSU classroom. Every positive case was contact-traced back to a social gathering away from the classrooms at CSU.

While two dormitories on campus were recently forced to quarantine due to high levels of COVID-19 traced in raw sewage, students were allowed to return to their everyday lives after further testing was completed. Only nine students, between the two quarantined dorms, were found to have the virus.

CSU was recently ranked the 4th best school in the nation for research in to COVID-19. McConnell said the land grant university will press forward with furthering research in to the virus, and applying what they’ve learned back in to the campus to prevent the spread.

Soon the university plans to start requiring all students to submit saliva samples which will allow the CSU system to implement an additional layer of protection.

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“Our protocols for testing, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation are incredibly rigorous,” McConnell said.

Dillon Thomas