OU campus sees downward trend of COVID-19 cases just days before students move in

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A city mask mandate is showing promising results in lowering the spread of coronavirus.

An OU Med doctor said OU’s campus is showing smaller numbers of positive cases just days before thousands of students are set to move in for school to start.

“We’re quite aware that there are something like 25,000 students that are returning to Norman,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Medicine Enterprise Chief Quality Officer.

The University of Oklahoma is preparing for on-campus move-in day by putting in place a few new rules.

“Absolutely we’re concerned that we could see outbreaks,” Bratzler said. “There will be limited visitation of visitors, particularly family, one at a time.”

A team is assembled to help students move into their dorms starting on Aug. 11, even helping to carry things in.

And if a student tests positive, the college is equipped with extra tests and contact tracing abilities.

On the bright side, Dr. Bratzler says cases at the university health clinic are on the downward trend.

“About four weeks ago, about 12 percent of the tests we ran on students or staff that came through that got tested were positive. That number now has dropped to less than 5 percent,” Bratzler said.

He says mask mandates in Norman, as well as on campus, are likely reasons why.

“I’m not gonna say that’s proof, but it’s certainly the trend that I would expect to see. As more people wear masks, the number of people who test positive should go down,” Bratzler said.

Students were seen wearing masks and socially distancing while moving into Greek houses on Friday afternoon. Students say the masks are worth it.

“Eventually, personally, I would like to go off of masks, but that’s not gonna happen until the numbers get low. If this is what it takes to get those numbers low, then I’m willing to do it,” said OU junior Jules Bushong.

Students are required to take COVID-19 tests before move-in day.

Along with that, Dr. Bratzler says the university is offering free testing to anyone that wants it when they come back to campus. This is for students, staff and faculty.

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