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Home / Health / Spread of COVID-19 in the fraternity queue at USC; at least 40 infected

Spread of COVID-19 in the fraternity queue at USC; at least 40 infected



USC is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak that has spread throughout the Greek university campus.

The school has uncovered about 40 positive COVID-19 cases involving people living on 28th Street, where many groups of university-linked brothers are based, said chief student health officer Sarah Van Orman.

“A considerable number of the issues were related to four fraternity homes,” Van Orman said. So far, about 150 USC students and staff have tested positive.

USC and other universities have adapted to the coronavirus in an effort to keep students, staff and local communities safe during the pandemic. Many schools, including UCLA and USC, have moved the vast majority of fall semester classes online and canceled events, restricted on-campus housing availability to reduce density, increased mask, social distancing measures, and symptom control symptoms, and report data infection regularly. Still, as students continue to return formally and informally, on campus and off campus, universities face a dizzying concern: Can the spread of COVID in colleges be stopped?

That response depends on the decisions individuals make, Van Orman said, noting that the recent USC outbreaks occurred in off-campus spaces not controlled by the university.

“If we all do not realize that now our only means are physical distance and clothing masks, we will continue to have devastation, not only in terms of our economy, our teaching, our academics, our jobs, but our people. who die, “she said. “Each of us has to decide what we expect. Frat should do the same.”

; She said that although the outbreak affected the brothers’ homes, it was not clear that the infection involved members of the fraternities, who often rented rooms during summer.

UCLA spokesman Steve Ritea agreed that the pandemic number would depend on the choices of community members.

“If you have three or four of our students living together in an off-campus apartment, all we can do is give them our best recommendation and best knowledge. They have to make those decisions from there, “he said. Students living in official UCLA dormitories face some health restrictions imposed by the school, he added.

Coronavirus outbreaks have occurred in fraternity spaces at universities across the country, including the University of Washington and UC Berkeley. Van Orman attributed the spread in such spaces to the growing exposure of families coming to congregational living situations and social gatherings.

“When we think about the size of the population they exhibit, it can quickly become quite large,” Van Orman said.

The proliferation among fraternities at USC is largely over, she said. The school reported for the first time 15 positive cases on 28th Street through a July 9 press release. Ongoing testing and aggressive contact tracking allowed the university to identify exposed and positive new individuals. Mandatory quarantine ordered by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health helped stop the spread.

“We have not seen any more cases for the past week,” Van Orman said. Testing, tracking and quarantine are all parts of the USC pandemic plan, which is featured on the school website.

In the fall, explosions at USC could lead to more distant classes. Hotel space has been set aside for infected students in the future, Van Orman said. The university is encouraging students not to return, working to educate students about proliferation, and is determined to implement strong policies that block termination rules from campus, she added. Keeping students from joining groups will play an important role in preventing future outbreaks.

“Meetings are a big issue. “Whether it’s in a church or a fraternity, this is what we’re seeing: People get together and if you have 20 or 30 people in the room, you can quickly infect half of them in a meeting,” Van Orman said.

On Wednesday, UCLA’s COVID number was similar to that of USC. The university reported that 153 individuals tested positive and reported their diagnosis to the university since the start of testing. 52 cases have been reported since June 15. Ritea said the data includes self-reported cases by overseas students and that the Westwood campus is not experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. UCLA is not seeing abnormal proliferation involving marital living spaces, he added.

UCLA has its own COVID procedures also written online. The goal that is in preparation makes Ritea feel better about the school perspective.

“When you talk about a global pandemic where there is no vaccine yet, I would never say that any of us feel good about any number of cases,” he said. “But what I feel good about is that our leadership has taken this so seriously. There has been so much thought and care and planning that goes into the way we are doing this,” he said. He noted, however, planning can go so far.

“The best we can do is minimize the risk as much as we can,” Ritea said.

Both school student populations are full of young people, who Van Orman acknowledged that COVID-19 usually hits less. She said no one infected at USC has yet been hospitalized. But young people are not immune to the worst consequences of the virus, she added.

“We still see young, healthy people contracting the virus, who have serious illnesses, who have been hospitalized and even die,” she said.

She added that an evolving understanding of the long-term effects of the virus should concern young people, along with the fact that they can pass the virus on to the most affected people.

“They are exposing their parents and grandparents, they are exposing the person working in the store,” she said.




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