17 students in a WCU residence hall test positive for COVID-19

Another North Carolina university has reported a cluster of COVID-19 cases.

On Sept. 1, the Jackson County Department of Public Health (JCDPH) announced a COVID-19 cluster at a Western Carolina University (WCU) residence hall had been identified.

17 residents of Harrill Hall tested positive for COVID-19, according to JCDPH, and are currently following isolation orders.

A cluster is identified by the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDPH) in workplace, educational and other community settings as:

  • A minimum of five cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period
  • Plausible linkage between cases where cases were present in the same setting during the same time-period (e.g., same shift, same classroom, same physical work area); that the timing fits with likely timing of exposure; and that there is no other more likely source of exposure for identified cases (e.g., household or close contact to a confirmed case in another setting).

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