Coronavirus infections at UC San Diego plunge following big surge

UC San Diego
The number of UC San Diego students testing positive for the coronavirus has dropped following a surge after the start of the winter quarter Jan. 4.

The number of UC San Diego students testing positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus has dropped significantly over the past week following a big surge in infections that was reported after they returned for the winter quarter Jan. 4.

The university says 185 students tested positive during the first week of the month, followed by 127 during the second week. New figures show that 45 tested positive during the third week through Jan. 20.

That brought the total to 357 for the first three weeks.

The numbers are expected to flatten or go down.

The test results involve the roughly 8,600 students who live on campus as well as those who live elsewhere in San Diego County, along with students who visit the university to take in-person classes or participate in lab activity.

“We expected [the surge] to happen when they went away and had celebratory dinners for Christmas and Hanukkah over the winter break,” said Dr. Robert Schooley, a UCSD professor of medicine who is helping lead the university’s “Return to Learn” program.

The new variant has been showing up throughout the state, including San Diego County.

“[They] don’t sit around with 20 people from three generations with masks on. We understood that what would come back from that was lots of [the coronavirus] SARS-CoV-2. That’s why we doubled up on the testing frequency. We’re now down to reporting one or two infections a day, like we did in the fall.”

At the beginning of January, UCSD began requiring students in that group to get tested every week instead of every other week, as was being done during the fall quarter. ◆