Keene State College reported Wednesday that 21 students tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
The new cases were detected between Feb. 8 and 14, according to the college’s coronavirus dashboard, which is updated weekly.
There are no employee cases in the new data. Classes began Monday, and students who live on campus moved in this past weekend.
But because some of the students tested positive during the college’s pre-arrival tests, it’s possible not all of the 21 infected students have moved back onto campus yet, college spokeswoman Kelly Ricaurte said.
And with the current caseload, Ricaurte said, the college doesn’t need to take any additional actions to prevent the virus from spreading.
“We currently have capacity to support students who need to go into isolation or quarantine,” she said in an email, “and we have not reach[ed] a case count that requires a shift in operations.”
Keene State decided late last year to push back its spring semester start date by three weeks to wait out the predicted winter surge in COVID-19 cases.
Prior to the new cases announced Wednesday, pre-arrival testing had found 25 coronavirus cases — 20 among students and five employee infections — between Jan. 10 and Feb. 7.
All students and staff needed to present proof of a negative test result upon arriving on-campus, when they would be tested again, according to Jennifer Ferrell, associate vice president for student engagement at Keene State.
Anyone who tested positive in Keene State’s pre-arrival screening needed to complete a two-week isolation period before returning to campus, she said previously. Some isolation and quarantine spaces are available on campus, too, depending on individual circumstances.
Over the course of the fall, Keene State conducted more than 40,000 COVID-19 tests, finding a total of 78 cases of the viral respiratory illness. Weekly testing for all students and employees will continue throughout the spring, and some groups, like student athletes, will be tested up to three times a week.
Keene State isn’t the only college to have new cases.
As of Tuesday, Franklin Pierce University in Rindge had 48 active cases, resulting in the campus’ being placed under a temporary shelter-in-place order.