SMU reported zero new COVID-19 cases on Sunday evening for the first time since classes began on Aug. 24. The past week also saw the lowest amount of new weekly reported cases (53) since the semester started, and an isolation occupancy of 16% as of Sept. 27.
Sunday’s report comes as the number of coronavirus cases on campus continues to decrease. SMU returned to a “moderate” operational level this past Tuesday after the university saw a 52.1% decrease in reported cases over the previous week.
— The Daily Campus (@thedailycampus) September 22, 2020
The moderate operational level means that instruction will continue as a mixture of in-person and virtual instruction with online options for in-person classes. Students, faculty and staff are still encouraged to social distance, wear face coverings and frequently wash their hands.
SMU officially moved to a “high” operational level just three weeks ago on Sept. 7 as the university reported a spike of 173 new cases and isolation bed occupancy rates exceeding 50% capacity. Despite the raised operational level, the university maintained moderate levels in most on-campus settings.
#BREAKING: #SMU raises operational level from "Moderate" to "High" as #COVID19 isolation occupancy passes 50%. SMU says students have and will continue to have "a choice as to where they will isolate" and are working "to increase the numbers of isolation beds." https://t.co/fdigV838LZ
— The Daily Campus (@thedailycampus) September 7, 2020
In response to the increase, President Turner said in a campus-wide email that the university would remain committed to enforcing health guidelines, but needed the Mustang community’s support to stay open.
“It is still up to each of us to act responsibly to help protect everyone’s health and welfare – by practicing social distancing, wearing face coverings, and remaining vigilant to changes in individual health,” President Turner said.
There are 111 active cases of the virus, and 48 students quarantined on campus as of Sunday night according to SMU’s COVID-19 dashboard. SMU has not announced plans to further decrease its operational level.