645 active cases on UT’s campus as White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Birx calls on students to avoid ‘super-spreader events’


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — New COVID-19 numbers on the University of Tennessee’s campus as there are now 645 active cases, 634 total recoveries, and 2,087 students and employees in self-isolation.

This happening as the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House, Dr. Deborah Birx participated in a round-table with UT leadership, state and local officials, along with other healthcare professionals locally.

The University of Tennessee is the sixth university she’s visited in the last few months, as she reviews schools’ reopening plans.

Dr. Birx praised UT’s testing, quarantining, and isolation planning, but points to things the school can’t control — student’s off campus activities as being concerning.

“To every student who’s not following those rules, you’re creating super spreader-events. We know that’s happening in community after community, we don’t want it to happen here. Calling on every students’ responsibility to be in college, and to not participate in super-spreader events. I think it’s hard on everybody to get through this short term sacrifice that we’re making for our future.”

Dr. Deborah Birx — White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator

Chancellor Donde Plowman held her bi-weekly school COVID-19 update shortly after Dr. Birx’s visit, and reinforced her plea.

“To our students, please steer clear of crowded indoor places, especially bars. Wear a mask to reduce the spread.”

UTK Chancellor Donde Plowman

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