NYT helps track campus coronavirus cases

Data journalists at the New York Times are doing useful and helpful work during the pandemic. Their effort to track coronavirus cases at U.S. colleges and universities is something that parents with college-age children may want to bookmark and track.

The Times has surveyed more than 1,500 American colleges and universities — including every four-year public institution, every private college that competes in N.C.A.A. sports and others that identified cases — to reveal at least 51,000 cases at 1,020 schools and at least 60 deaths since the pandemic began. The report put together by the Times was last updated on Sept. 3. It is searchable by state and by school.

To satisfy my self interests, I immediately looked up:

  • Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where my stepson is a first-year student, which has reported 24 cases of coronavirus.
  • University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where my stepdaughter begins graduate school this week, 79 cases.
  • Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, which I attended 31 years ago, 4 cases.
  • Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where I work, 0 cases.

The good news so far at Loras, where classes started two weeks ago, is worth noting because of student efforts to help minimize risk. It really comes as no surprise. Students were surveyed over the summer and nearly all of them wanted to return to campus in the fall instead of taking virtual classes. The college administration and many of the staff worked overtime all summer to prepare for the return of students in the fall. If you’re interested, you may read about it here.

Students, however, had to buy in, make good decisions and help keep themselves and everyone else safe. The fact that they have done this so far isn’t surprising. There are many amazing young people at Loras. Most of them are committed and involved in their world in ways that never crossed my mind when I was their age. They volunteer and do good deeds that my college friends and I never even considered. To cite but one example: Loras students have raised more than $2 million for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. It is a pediatric acute care academic children’s hospital that provides comprehensive care to patients aged 0–21.

There are many other ways in which Loras students work to help make the world a better place so it’s easy to see how they would work together to minimize outbreaks of coronavirus. All you have to do is watch the news to see examples of mostly larger universities around the country where this hasn’t been the case, which has resulted in outbreaks.

All of this makes me even more proud to be a Duhawk. I offer my congratulations to the current crop of Loras students and encourage them to keep it up.

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