On Monday morning, Harrisonburg City and JMU updated their respective COVID-19 dashboards, with fresh numbers reflecting a spike in cases to a level not seen since April.
From Friday, Aug. 28, to Sunday, Aug. 30, Harrisonburg logged 106 new cases, and JMU counted 197, with JMU’s number including both positive tests in the University Health Center (UHC) and self-reported cases, according to a dashboard by The Breeze tracking COVID-19 case numbers in the JMU and Harrisonburg communities. While numbers haven’t been released yet by JMU for Monday, Aug. 31, in the city, Harrisonburg charted 61 new cases — the highest per-day uptick since April 22, according to The Breeze’s COVID-19 dashboard. Harrisonburg’s highest spike since the start of April was recorded April 17, with 95 new cases.
The updates bring the cumulative positive case total for the JMU community to 390, according to The Breeze’s COVID-19 dashboard, encompassing both positive tests performed in the UHC and self-reported cases among both students and employees of the university — the highest cumulative total of all public higher education institutes in Virginia as of Monday morning, with the possible exception of Radford University, whose total sits unknown as it hasn’t reported new cases since Aug. 25. In the city, the cumulative total now sits at 1,346 positive cases.
JMU’s spike aligns with the beginning of classes for the fall semester. While on Aug. 25, the day before classes began, JMU recorded 21 new cases, on Aug. 26, the university logged 75 new cases, according to The Breeze’s COVID-19 dashboard. In the following four days, JMU counted 69, 89, 52 and 56 new cases, respectively per day, bringing the total to 390 positives. While the university breaks out UHC tests versus self-reported tests on its own COVID-19 dashboard, The Breeze continues to work toward obtaining the release of a case breakdown by on-campus residence or off-campus designation.
Additionally, the city’s data also correlates with the start-of-term spike. On Aug. 26, Harrisonburg logged six new cases, according to The Breeze’s COVID-19 dashboard. Yet over the next five days, the city counted 18, 24, 37, 45 and 61 new cases, respectively per day, bringing the Harrisonburg total to 1,346 positives.
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