Here’s what you need to know:
- The university staff monitors metrics at the campus, community, and state levels to make data-driven decisions.
- The university coordinates closely with local and state health officials and constantly monitors CDC guidelines.
- Students, faculty, and staff should be prepared for contingency options.
The university’s emergency operations team monitors campus information in real time, including employee and student active cases and self-isolations. In the interest of transparency, we are making key campus metrics available here. Data is updated once a week on Mondays.
The university tracks reported positive and recovered cases of COVID-19 among students and employees. Positive cases are reported through the COVID-19 self-isolation form.
The number of new cases for each day is based on COVID-19 self-isolation forms indicating a positive COVID-19 test. The number of new cases from prior days is subject to change as active self-isolations are updated with positive results and as duplicate COVID-19 self-isolation forms are identified and deducted.
The university monitors the number of self-isolations among its students and employees. Members of the campus community may be asked to self-isolate because they have received a positive COVID-19 test result, are awaiting test results, have developed COVID-19 symptoms, or have been identified as a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19. Self-isolation data is collected when students and employees complete the COVID-19 self-isolation form. Read more about the university’s self-isolation requirements and procedures.
The university closely monitors and communicates about clusters of positive COVID-19 cases to help reduce further spread. The university defines a cluster as at least five positive cases as a result of one event or in one concentrated location.
The definition of a cluster formerly included “and/or at least 20 close contacts,” but close contacts were removed as part of the definition on May 10, 2021.
Notice of a cluster may be sent to members of the campus community by email or UT Alert if the identification of a cluster results in the need for potentially affected students or employees to take action. If campus officials are able to successfully conduct contact tracing of a cluster, a notification will generally not be communicated. All clusters identified within the past 14 days, along with start date and determined point of origin, will be documented here.
Community saliva testing
During the 2020-21 academic year, the university conducted community saliva testing to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 and help identify asymptomatic students who may have had COVID-19. The program ended on April 23, 2021. Data is available from the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. The community saliva testing positivity rate was calculated by dividing the total number of positive diagnostic tests by the total number of saliva samples collected during a week and expressing the result as a percentage.
Student Health Center Testing
The Student Health Center provides free COVID-19 testing to students and offers free Everlywell COVID-19 test home collection kits for students and employee use. Test result reports are no longer published on the data guide, but data is available for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters.
For information about COVID-19 vaccine distribution, visit the vaccine information page.
Monitoring of community-level data in Knox County is focused on hospital capacity and case trends. University leadership is especially mindful of the need to help local hospitals and avoid overburdening the health care system. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the university has worked closely with the Knox County Health Department to share data, resources, and plans.
Statewide data provides an overview of trends that could affect our region. The university coordinates with the Tennessee Department of Health and state emergency management leaders.
The following statewide resources are helpful:
- CORE-19: Coordinated by two UT units—the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the Department of Public Health—the CORE-19 website includes policy expertise and information on statewide case trends.
- Tennessee Department of Health: The department has a dashboard with state and county data and information on statewide hospitalizations.