Several University of Connecticut students were kicked out of their dorm rooms this week after videos on social media showed them at a crowded party with no masks and even less social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Most UConn students have cooperated with strict health and safety guidelines since returning to campus last Friday, but some haven’t, university President Tom Katsouleas and Provost Carl Lejuez said in a letter to the campus community Wednesday.
“Many of you are aware of a party in a residence hall that violated our health and safety rules; as a result, the students involved have been removed from campus housing,” Katsouleas and Lejuez wrote. “Separately, over the weekend, seven students were written up for minor infractions.
Despite the party, UConn still appears to have a handle on the spread of the virus. Out of 5,042 residential students who have been tested, only eight have come back positive, a .16% positivity rate. Three off-campus commuter students have also tested positive. Just two staff members out of 2,110 who have been tested were positive, a .01% positivity rate.
That’s in stark contrast to other universities that have already had to send students home due to an inability to control the spread on campus.
Elsewhere, the COVID-19 positivity rate at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill increased from 2.8% to 13.6% after just one week of in-person classes, prompting the university to shift to remote learning for the rest of the fall semester.
The University of Notre Dame is currently dealing with a 17.3% positivity rate, as 222 of 1,278 tests have come back positive since students started returning to campus earlier this month. The school announced Tuesday that it is suspending all in-person undergraduate classes for two weeks, and if it can’t get control of the spread, then it will send students home for the semester.
Some colleges that haven’t even started yet are changing their plans due to the challenges other schools have faced. Michigan State University announced Tuesday that it is moving all undergraduate students to remote learning for the fall semester, just days before students were set to return to campus.
The World Health Organization warned this week that coronavirus is now primarily being spread by young people.
"The epidemic is changing: people in their 20s, 30s and 40s are increasingly driving its spread," Dr. Takeshi Kasai, WHO's regional health director for the Western Pacific region, said in a virtual news conference Tuesday. "Many are unaware they’re infected — with very mild symptoms or none at all. This can result in them unknowingly passing on the virus to others."
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