The New York Times is tracking coronavirus cases on campuses through a rolling survey. This page will be updated periodically and was last updated Dec. 11.
Tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases continue to emerge on college campuses. A New York Times survey of more than 1,900 American colleges and universities — including every four-year public institution and every private college that competes in N.C.A.A. sports — has revealed more than 397,000 cases and at least 90 deaths since the pandemic began.
More than 6,600 cases were identified in the athletic departments of the 130 universities that compete at the highest level of Division I football. Those numbers, which are an undercount because dozens of universities provided little or no data, emerged as schools forged ahead with football season amid the pandemic.
Read more about outbreaks in athletic departments, and see a campus-level breakdown of those cases.
Most cases on college campuses have been announced since students returned to campus for the fall term. Most of the deaths were reported in the spring and involved college employees, not students. But at least four students have died in recent weeks after contracting the virus.
Colleges with coronavirus cases since the pandemic began
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More than 85 colleges have reported at least 1,000 cases over the course of the pandemic, and more than 680 colleges have reported at least 100 cases.
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Weekly cases per capita in the county
Schools without case totals (indicated as —) either did not respond to inquiries or declined to provide information. Schools reporting zero cases or without case totals appear only when searched.
Note: The charts show the cases per 100,000 residents reported each week in the county where each school is located. The location of a university’s main campus is listed unless otherwise specified. In several instances, colleges noted that some cases were tied to branch campuses or satellite locations.
Collin College in Texas, where a faculty member recently died from the virus, moved all winter term classes online, citing a surge in regional coronavirus cases. Boston College announced that its football team would not participate in a bowl game, in part because of the strain of months of coronavirus restrictions. And across the country, universities began announcing plans for a spring term in which the virus promised to continue dominating campus life.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where nearly 2,000 people have tested positive, said students and employees would need to be tested every two weeks in the spring. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which quickly aborted an attempt to hold most fall classes in person after an early outbreak, said undergraduates would need to be tested before returning to campus. And on the University of Colorado’s flagship campus, officials said spring classes would begin fully online and that the spring commencement ceremony would be held virtually.
“In consultation with state and local health officials, we need to delay our in-person opportunities until cases decrease and we can provide a safer and more positive on-campus experience,” Philip P. DiStefano, the chancellor, wrote in a letter to campus. “We will do our best to avoid the back-and-forth shifts that created uncertainty for our campus community in the fall.”
This data shows where the virus has been identified over the course of the pandemic, not necessarily where it is prevalent now. The Times has counted more than 390,000 cases at colleges since late July; of those, more than 75,000 cases have been added since early November. Tens of thousands of those infections have been reported in recent days, though some of the newly identified cases may be from earlier in the pandemic.
Because colleges report data differently, and because cases continued to emerge even in the months when most campuses were closed, The Times is counting all reported cases since the virus began to spread in the United States.
Many universities, hoping to quickly identify cases and prevent broader outbreaks, have tested aggressively for the virus, detecting cases in some instances that might otherwise have been missed.
With no national tracking system, and statewide data available only sporadically, colleges are making their own rules for how to tally infections. While The Times’s survey is believed to be the most comprehensive account available, it is also an undercount.
Among the colleges contacted by The Times, most published case information online or responded to requests for case numbers. But at least others ignored inquiries or refused to answer questions. More than have reported zero cases. The Times obtained case data through open records requests at several public universities that would not otherwise provide numbers.
Given the disparities in size, reopening plans and transparency among universities, this data should not be used to make campus-to-campus comparisons. Some colleges subtract cases from their tallies once people recover. Some report only tests performed on campus. And some initially provided data but then stopped.
Infections linked to medical schools and teaching hospitals
Cases tied to medical programs
University of California, San Diego
University of California, San Francisco
University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus
University of Connecticut
University of South Florida
The Times is counting reported cases among university students and employees in all fields, including those whose roles as doctors, nurses, pharmacists or medical students put them at higher risk of contracting the virus. At least six universities that have a broad range of programs, including medical units, have reported dozens of cases tied to health care. Those cases are listed above as a subset of their universitywide totals.
Some universities did not provide data for cases at their medical schools, hospitals or clinics. Some included those cases in their campuswide counts, but did not specify how many. Other universities that are primarily focused on medical training, or that reported a small number of cases tied to clinical programs, are listed in the main table on this page with an asterisk.
Get the data: Download data for coronavirus cases at colleges in the United States from The New York Times on GitHub.