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Oklahoma's Two Largest Universities Try To Mitigate COVID-19 Spread

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As colleges start their semesters, they’re dealing with increasing numbers of  COVID-19 cases. StateImpact’s Robby Korth reports on the efforts of Oklahoma’s two largest universities to mitigate the spread.

 

This week, Oklahoma State University reported it has 279 active cases while the University of Oklahoma has 137. Hundreds of students and staffers are in quarantine on both campuses because of possible exposure.

This isn't too surprising, officials from the universities said in a meeting with the State Regents of Higher Education Thursday morning.

Dale Bratzler, OU's chief COVID officer, says the best the schools can do is to increase testing and fight the spread any way they can. He says they're starting to do just that.

"One thing we’re trying to avoid is just a complete campus shutdown," Bratzler said. "Yet we recognize this virus is highly contagious and when you bring people together in close quarters, you will see spread."

The universities' costs of managing the pandemic has already already added up to millions of dollars. That's because of lost revenue, and costs of outfitting their campuses to welcome students back this fall and conduct testing.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

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