LA Times features Lubbock and Texas Tech for COVID response, but not in a good way

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Texas Tech vs West Virginia (Nexstar/Staff)

LUBBOCK, Texas — The Los Angeles Times took Lubbock and Texas Tech to task Saturday afternoon. An article said Texas has more infected college students than any other state. It said Texas Tech has more infected students than any other college.

The opening paragraph of the LA Times article said, “As football fans tailgated without masks outside Texas Tech University’s 60,000-seat stadium in West Texas this weekend ahead of the Red Raiders’ homecoming game, it was easy to forget that Lubbock — a rural county of 310,000 — has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the country.”

True, the stadium seats 60,000. But Texas Tech set a 25 percent capacity limit on itself for home football games, which the Times did acknowledge in the third paragraph.

“Lubbock County ranked 10th in the country for per capita COVID-19 infections this week,” the Times said Saturday.

As of Saturday, Lubbock area hospitals (Trauma Service Area B) for six days in a row had more than 15 percent of patients testing positive for COVID. Day seven in a row will trigger capacity restrictions on many businesses.

As of Friday, more than 2,100 Texas Tech students or employees were confirmed cases of COVID. However, of those, only 206 were active cases. As of Friday, 1905 were listed as recovered. So far, no COVID deaths have been attributed to the main campus in Lubbock.

The Times reported, “A. David Paltiel, a professor of health policy at the Yale School of Public Health, said universities need to proactively test students to prevent those who are asymptomatic from spreading the virus.

“He [Paltiel] said voluntary testing at Texas Tech and other schools wasn’t helpful because those without symptoms likely won’t get tested,” the Times also reported.

Paltiel was also quoted as saying students need to get tested before they travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.

On October 13, Texas Tech announced no in-person classes for the remainder of the fall semester after Thanksgiving. Tech also announced classes for the 2021 spring semester would start late.

Related Link (from LA Times): Coronavirus is surging in college towns. The worst spot? Texas

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