Updated Jan. 21, at 11:55 p.m.
With Winter Term classes now underway, students are quickly adjusting to a January semester amid the coronavirus pandemic. Before beginning classes, students are required to take a rapid antigen test. Meanwhile, Alamance County and North Carolina continue to see higher numbers of reported cases than when students were last on campus in November.
On Thursday, Jan. 21, Elon University reported 12 new case of the coronavirus. There are currently an estimated 40 active cases within the Elon community.
To monitor the coronavirus, Elon University has set-up a COVID-19 alert level system. The four-tiered system monitors both cases on-campus and in Alamance County.
Currently, Elon University is at Level 1 - Moderate alert of its COVID-19 alert system.
Elon University data from the university's COVID-19 dashboard.
Since Jan. 1, 2021, Elon University has reported a cumulative 76 cases on campus. Throughout the fall semester, the university reported nearly 900 coronavirus cases among students, faculty and staff. More than 10% of students contracted the virus during this period.
Gathering limits in the Town of Elon remain in place. This includes a limit of 10 people gathering indoors and 25 people gathering outdoors.
For Winter Term and the spring semester, Elon University will ramp up coronavirus testing to help detect the presence of the virus in the campus community.
According to university spokesman Owen Covington, undergraduate students will be tested every week beginning the week of Jan. 18.
Currently, Alamance County has a cumulative 13,718 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 200 deaths, according to the Alamance County Health Department.
As of Jan. 13, 4,872 people have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 478 people have been fully vaccinated.
Outside of Alamance, Mecklenburg County, home to the state’s largest city Charlotte, has seen over 76,000 cases of coronavirus, more than any other county in the state. When factoring in population, Hyde County, located in eastern North Carolina, has seen the most cases, per 10,000 residents in the state.
There have been 698,099 cumulative cases of the coronavirus in North Carolina as of Jan. 21.
Across the state 238,344 people have received the first dose of the vaccine and 44,271 people have been fully vaccinated. Currently, the state is entering phase 1b, group 1 of vaccine distribution. This includes anyone 75 years or older. College and university students are currently scheduled to get vaccinated in phase 3.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has extended a modified stay at home order through at least Friday, Jan. 29. This order require North Carolina residents to remain in their home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless traveling for work, grocery shopping, seeking medical attention or other essential service.
Certain businesses like entertainment venues, parks must close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Restaurants and bars must also close for in-person dining between those hours. Additionally, bars and restaurants must stop serving alcohol between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
What happens when someone tests positive for the virus in Alamance County?
When someone in the county becomes infected with the virus, the Alamance County Health Department is tasked with helping contact trace individuals who may have come into contact with an infected individual.
“For every confirmed case, Alamance County Health Department does an extensive interview with the case that includes their current health status, onset of symptoms, and a retracing of their movements while infectious,” ACHD Public Information Officer Arlinda Ellison told Elon News Network.
In the retracing of an infected persons movements, health department staff ask about who they have interacted with to determine close contacts. A close contact is defined as "someone who the case has interacted with for at least 10 minutes or more and within six feet.”
Close contacts are then notified by the health department and in addition to assessing their current condition, the staff informs the individual that they will need to quarantine for 14 days. If no symptoms are presented during that time, then they are released from quarantine.