SOUTH BEND — Until Thursday, the University of Notre Dame saw increases in the number of new cases of COVID-19 each day this week.

But Paul Browne, the Vice President for Public Affairs and Communication, said Friday that the university doesn’t take “any premature comfort in Thursday’s number” of four new cases.

The week began with two new cases Sunday followed by 10 Monday, 12 Tuesday and 31 Wednesday before Thursday’s drop-off. The week began with a seven-day average of 4.7 new cases that rose to 9.3 by Thursday.

“It does represent a significant increase,” Browne said Friday after Thursday’s numbers had been released. “We’re concerned about it.”

St. Joseph County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox said Friday afternoon that it’s encouraging that most of Notre Dame’s new cases this week “can trace to (a) specific exposure. They’re not just popping up out of nowhere” and that the number of positive cases revealed by the campus’ surveillance testing regimen remains “very low.”

Last Saturday, Notre Dame played Florida State University in a night game at home, but, Browne said, the university’s contact tracing found that attendance at the game didn’t contribute to this week’s spike in positive test results.

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