FAU has 26 positive COVID-19 cases. But why don’t you know that?

The last update FAU students received about a positive case was almost a month ago — but UF and USF students know about all reported cases.

Illustration+by+Israel+Fontoura+

Illustration by Israel Fontoura

Kristen Grau, Editor in Chief

Last updated: April 15, 6:56 p.m.

FAU spokesperson Joshua Glanzer told the UP 19 students and seven employees have tested positive COVID-19. But FAU hasn’t told you. 

The last time FAU updated its official coronavirus page with positive cases was on March 17, when it announced its first positive case. But on Thursday, Glanzer said 19 students and seven employees have self-reported positive for coronavirus.

“Now that FAU has moved to remote operations, we rely on members of the FAU community to self-report when they are diagnosed with a positive case of COVID-19,” Glanzer said. “Therefore, our numbers may not represent the true number and reflect students, faculty and staff who are learning and working remotely.”

FAU isn’t alone in not sharing its cases with its students, faculty, or staff. The UP checked websites of all 12 state universities and found only two are posting the number of cases prominently on their websites – and one told the UP they don’t have to, but they want to.

The UP reviewed all the coronavirus update pages in the Florida State University System. Only UF and USF have a regularly-updated case log on their website. UF has reported 33 cases out of its 56,567 students as of April 9; USF has reported eight cases out of its 48,708 students. FAU has a reported 26 cases out of 31,143 students. 

UF Assistant Vice President of Communications Steve Orlando said the choice to create a case log and update it daily was a voluntary one by the university’s president, Kent Fuchs. 

“The idea behind [the log] was to be transparent and make people aware of these cases,” Orlando said. “We want to give accurate information out while still protecting peoples’ confidentiality.” 

Glanzer said that FAU does not plan on adding a case log to provide regular updates.

“The main reason we are not providing an update on numbers is … due to our reliance on self-reporting, our numbers are likely not an accurate portrayal of how many among the FAU community have the virus or had the virus and recovered already,” he said. “Several [cases] have recovered but even that number is likely not 100 percent accurate since it relies on self-reporting. Inaccurate information should not be relied on by our community.”

The UP asked if any of the people who self-reported their positive tests were still living on campus, but Glanzer said he could not provide that information. (UF and USF do provide that information in their updates.)

Orlando said that providing an updated log wasn’t a requirement of the Board of Governors, the governing body that oversees 12 Florida state universities. 

FAU’s coronavirus page says that students who test positive for coronavirus must notify Student Health Services at 561-297-3512, and faculty and staff must notify the human resources department at 561-297-3076 or by emailing Employee Relations Manager Gabrielle Zaidman at  [email protected].

There are currently 17,531 positive cases in Florida — and Palm Beach County is the third-highest county affected at 1,344 residents behind Miami-Dade and Broward, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Kristen Grau is the editor-in-chief of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her at @_kristengrau.