COVID-19

Keene State College on Wednesday reported that 16 students tested positive for COVID-19 last week, an increase from the week before but still far below a peak in late February.

The new cases, which were detected between March 22 and 28, bring Keene State’s total to 166 for the semester thus far, according to the college’s online coronavirus dashboard, which is updated weekly.

Keene State reported last week that 12 students had tested positive for the viral respiratory illness the week before, marking the third straight week that new cases had fallen after hitting 42 in the last week of February.

Since then, the college has tested students for COVID-19 twice a week, doubling the frequency of testing from the fall and beginning of this semester. Employees are required to be tested once a week if they enter buildings on campus and have the option of twice-a-week tests. Keene State spokeswoman Kelly Ricaurte said Wednesday that those policies remain in place for the school’s roughly 3,200 students and 700 employees.

The Monadnock Region’s other residential college, Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, reported eight active cases as of Tuesday. That’s one more than the same time last week but still significantly lower than a mid-February outbreak during which the school had 48 active cases, prompting administrators to issue a temporary shelter-in-place order. The order expired after cases declined. Franklin Pierce has about 1,200 students and 235 employees at its Rindge campus.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.