Some counties with universities see spike in COVID-19 cases, but not all

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Arizona State University political science major Betzabel Ayala poses for a photo on campus Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz. Because of the coronavirus, Ayala is one of hundreds of thousands of off-campus U.S. college students who are being counted for the 2020 census at their parents’ homes or other locations when they were supposed to be counted where they go to school. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

COVID-19 cases are spreading on college campuses. An interactive map from the New York Times shows every college in the nation that has students or staff who tested positive for the coronavirus.

The University of Central Florida has 754 cases. We visited Florida Gulf Coast University Wednesday to see how things have changed since the pandemic hit.

College in 2020 is different, to say the least.

Masks are worn by all on-campus, and many others are taking classes online only.

Sophomore Anthony Zarzana is not a fan, “It’s a little weird going around seeing everyone wear masks.”

The fall semester got off to a rough start.

FGCU suspended two fraternities for throwing large parties. That same day, the university’s president Mike Martin warned students he will shut down the campus if students continued to put themselves and others at risk.

“We really have expectations that you’re going to rise to the occasion,” Martin said in the email. “You let us down this last weekend but let’s see if we can learn from that.”

Junior transfer student Sarah Angel doesn’t mind the restrictions, “I kind of like that I don’t really have to talk to as many people (laughs) as I usually would have.”

The Lee County coronavirus numbers do not show a significant change in cases once classes resumed at FGCU.

So far the university reports 26 cases since August.

But in Alachua County, there is a clear spike once students arrived at the University of Florida campus. The median age of those who got the virus is just 20 years old.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, what could make matters worse is if students go back and forth from campus to home.

freshman Sophia Macaisa told me s he’s been taking this pandemic pretty seriously, “My dad has an autoimmune disorder and I definitely don’t want him getting COVID.”

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