The University of Notre Dame reported an increase in positive coronavirus cases over the weekend following an off-campus party.
According to the South Bend Tribune, 348 students and staff were tested from August 6 to 14, yielding 29 positive COVID-19 cases at an 8% positive rate. The situation worsened over the weekend when on Saturday, 3 of 11 cases were positive, a 27.3% positive rate, and on Sunday, 15 of 30 cases were positive, a 50% positive rate.
A University of Notre Dame spokesman Paul Browne noted on Friday that this spike in coronavirus cases was linked to an off-campus party where students were packed tightly together and not practicing standard safety protocol such as social distancing and wearing masks, per the South Bend Tribune.
“We are confident we will be able to trace the cause if we see numbers going up,” Browne said. “I don’t think it’s unrealistic to go into this with confidence we can do a semester successfully without it getting out of control.”
The University of Notre Dame’s spike in cases comes at a time when institutions of higher education nationwide are grappling with their coronavirus policy and determining how to conduct learning safely as students move back to campus.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced they were switching to an entirely remote style of learning after COVID-19 positive test rates spiked from 2.8% to 13.6% at Campus Health, according to a university-wide letter from Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz.
Tests were performed on 954 students from August 10 to 16, of which 177 were placed in isolation and 349 were placed in quarantine. The letter also stated that “all undergraduate in-person instruction will shift to remote learning” beginning on August 19, and listed various measures the university was implementing to “de-densify” the campus to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Guskiewicz also emphasized the importance of the health and safety of the students and staff in the UNC school system, which is one of the largest in the nation.
“The health and well-being of the good people of our greater Carolina community are just as important to us as that of our students, faculty and staff. We will continue to work closely with our local town/gown partners to create a stronger framework of adherence to our Community Standards among our off-campus students, coupled with education and enforcement of appropriate local ordinances.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation has reached out to both the University of Notre Dame and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for further comment.
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