Dernières nouvelles sur le coronavirus et l'enseignement supérieur – Serveur d’impression
Un rapport du CDC examine une épidémie de sports sur les campus
28 octobre, 16 h 35 Un rapport publié mercredi par les Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examine une épidémie de COVID-19 qui a affecté plus d'un tiers des 45 membres des équipes de football masculines et féminines d'une université non identifiée de la région de Chicago cet automne.
Le rapport a révélé que l'université a ramené les athlètes sur son campus en juin et a exigé deux tests négatifs avant de pouvoir participer aux activités de l'équipe. En août, un membre de l'équipe masculine a signalé des symptômes de type COVID à un entraîneur et a déclaré qu'il avait assisté à une fête d'anniversaire et à un match de football non autorisé impliquant les équipes masculine et féminine au cours des deux semaines précédentes.
Le CDC a interviewé les 45 athlètes et a conclu qu'il y avait eu 18 rassemblements sociaux (en plus du match de football mixte) au cours de la période de deux semaines. Plusieurs de ces rassemblements ont été considérés comme des incidents de propagation probables, au cours desquels relativement peu de port de masque a été signalé.
"Cette épidémie met en évidence les défis de la mise en œuvre des stratégies de prévention associées à la persuasion des étudiants des collèges et universités d'adopter et de respecter les mesures d'atténuation recommandées en dehors du campus", a déclaré le rapport du CDC. "Les protocoles de l'université imposaient l'utilisation du masque pendant les sessions de formation, et les membres du personnel d'encadrement ont signalé une conformité universelle. Cependant, plusieurs étudiants ont signalé une utilisation incohérente du masque et une distanciation sociale lors de réunions sociales, ce qui a rapidement annulé les avantages des tests de pré-formation, de l'utilisation des masques sur le campus et distanciation des mesures de prévention. "
– Doug Lederman
Bethune-Cookman et Keuka deviennent virtuels pour le reste de l'automne
28 octobre, 15 h 45 Les collèges privés de Floride et de New York ont annoncé cette semaine qu'ils termineraient le reste du trimestre d'automne avec tous les enseignements virtuels.
L'Université Bethune-Cookman, à Daytona Beach, en Floride, a déclaré lundi dans une lettre aux étudiants et aux employés que ce serait aujourd'hui le dernier jour d'enseignement en personne et qu'il terminerait virtuellement les trois dernières semaines du trimestre d'automne. Les responsables ont cité un pic de COVID-19 et un désir de «commencer à réduire la densité sur le campus pour le reste du semestre d'automne». Le président de Bethune-Cookman, E. LaBrent Chrite, a encouragé les étudiants historiquement noirs de l'institution à "accélérer leur départ prévu du campus à partir de cette semaine", s'ils le peuvent, mais a déclaré qu'ils pourraient rester sur le campus jusqu'au 20 novembre. Ceux qui restent fonctionnera sous un ordre d'abri sur place et un couvre-feu.
Bethune-Cookman est également devenue la première institution de la division I de la National Collegiate Athletic Association à annuler la compétition pour le reste de l'année universitaire 2020-2021.
"Le récent pic des taux de positivité au COVID-19 dans l'État, dans le comté de Volusia et sur notre campus, fournit des preuves claires et sans ambiguïté, à notre avis, que ce n'est tout simplement pas le moment de reprendre la compétition sportive", a écrit Chrite. «Bien que la décision de ne pas participer à la compétition printanière soit la seule responsable pour nous pour le moment, elle n'a pas été prise à la légère. Nous savons que cette décision a un impact considérable sur nos étudiants-athlètes, notre personnel d'entraîneurs, nos Marching Wildcats et d'autres.
Le Keuka College, dans la région de Finger Lakes à New York, a commencé le semestre d'automne avec un enseignement en personne, mais est passé à l'apprentissage virtuel il y a trois semaines lorsque des cas de COVID sont apparus après un "rassemblement hors campus non sanctionné", a déclaré le collège dans un communiqué lundi. .
Bien que les responsables aient déclaré que le nombre de cas était tombé d'un maximum de 70 le 15 octobre à environ une douzaine maintenant, ils "ont décidé que continuer le modèle d'apprentissage à distance était le plan d'action le plus sûr", indique l'annonce.
Keuka a déclaré que les étudiants qui rentrent chez eux auront droit à un crédit pour la chambre et la pension pour le reste du trimestre, et que les étudiants qui ne peuvent pas partir peuvent rester.
– Doug Lederman
Le président du Wyoming s'abrite sur place
28 octobre, 6 h 21 Ed Seidel, président de l'Université du Wyoming, se mettra à l'abri sur place pendant 14 jours car il était à un événement avec quelqu'un qui a ensuite été diagnostiqué avec le COVID-19. Jusqu'à présent, Seidel a été testé négatif pour le virus.
«J'ai travaillé pour suivre les directives et les exigences en matière de protection du visage et de distance physique tout en me familiarisant avec la communauté UW et notre état au cours de mes premiers mois en tant que président», a déclaré Seidel. «Je prends au sérieux ma propre responsabilité de modeler le comportement consciencieux que j'ai demandé à nos étudiants, professeurs et personnel de suivre. Bien que mon contact avec l'individu qui a malheureusement été testé positif ne répondait pas à la norme pour que je sois officiellement mis en quarantaine par le ministère de la Santé, je vais travailler de chez moi pendant les 14 jours suivant l'exposition connue car je suis convaincu que c'est ma responsabilité de montrer l'exemple. Comme les cas de COVID-19 augmentent rapidement dans tout le pays et dans le Wyoming, il est important que nous prenions toutes les précautions pour limiter la propagation du virus.
– Scott Jaschik
Clivage politique sur les réouvertures automnales des collèges
27 octobre, 17 h 20 Le public américain est divisé sur à peu près tout – alors pourquoi ne serait pas être divisé sur la question de savoir si les collèges et les universités auraient dû ramener les étudiants sur leur campus physique cet automne?
Un sondage publié par le Pew Research Center cette semaine montre que les Américains se sont divisés au milieu sur la question de savoir si les collèges qui dispensent "l'enseignement en personne ont pris / n'ont pas pris la bonne décision de ramener les étudiants sur le campus cet automne".
Cinquante pour cent des personnes interrogées par Pew ont déclaré que les collèges avaient fait le bon choix, tandis que 48% ont déclaré ne pas l'avoir fait. Mais comme personne ne le surprendra probablement, les proportions sont très différentes selon les partis politiques. Près des trois quarts des républicains (74%) ont déclaré que les collèges et universités qui ont ouvert leurs campus pour l'enseignement en personne ont pris la bonne décision, tandis que plus des deux tiers des démocrates (68%) ont déclaré que les institutions avaient eu tort d'ouvrir.
L'enquête a également sollicité l'opinion des répondants sur la validité de l'éducation en ligne, que de nombreux étudiants rencontrent même s'ils sont physiquement sur le campus cet automne.
À la question de savoir si un cours suivi uniquement en ligne offre une valeur éducative égale (ou non) à un cours suivi en classe, moins d'un Américain sur trois (30%) dit que oui, tandis que 68% disent que les cours en ligne sont inférieurs. Les répondants titulaires d'un baccalauréat étaient les plus susceptibles (75%) de dire qu'un cours en ligne n'était pas à la hauteur, comparativement à 64% de ceux détenant un diplôme d'études secondaires ou moins.
Et les Américains continuent d'être profondément divisés sur l'état de l'enseignement supérieur en général (bien que personne n'en soit satisfait).
Une majorité de répondants au sondage Pew (56%) a déclaré que le système d'enseignement supérieur américain allait dans la mauvaise direction, tandis que 41% ont déclaré qu'il allait dans la bonne direction.
Alors que la moitié des démocrates (49%) disent que l’enseignement supérieur va dans la bonne direction et que la même proportion dit qu’il va dans la mauvaise direction, les deux tiers des républicains (66%) disent qu’il va dans la mauvaise direction.
– Doug Lederman
L'U du Vermont gèle les frais de scolarité, la chambre et la pension pour tous les étudiants
27 octobre, 6 h 21 L'Université du Vermont a annoncé lundi un gel complet des frais de scolarité, de la chambre et de la pension – pour tous les étudiants, étudiants de premier cycle et diplômés, dans l'État et hors de l'État, lundi.
L'université a gelé les frais de scolarité l'année dernière, mais le président Suresh Garimella a cité le COVID-19 comme raison de le prolonger.
Garimella recommandera également une réduction des frais généraux pour les étudiants et le report d'une augmentation de 140 $ approuvée précédemment pour le centre multifonctionnel, même si des améliorations substantielles des installations pour les loisirs et le bien-être sont en cours.
Et il a annoncé une campagne visant à recueillir 150 millions de dollars – pour lesquels 18 millions de dollars ont déjà été amassés – pour un soutien financier aux étudiants.
– Scott Jaschik
Bucknell avertit les étudiants de rester en place
26 octobre, 6 h 23 L'Université Bucknell a dit aux étudiants de rester dans leur chambre ce week-end, sauf pour obtenir de la nourriture, a rapporté NorthcentralPA.com.
L'université a agi après avoir confirmé sept cas de COVID-19.
Le président John Bravman a envoyé un courriel à tous les étudiants: «Retournez dans votre chambre (ou résidence hors campus) et restez en place. Vous pouvez quitter votre résidence pour un service de repas ou des urgences (comme une alarme incendie).» Il a précisé que tous les événements programmés pour dimanche seraient virtuels.
– Scott Jaschik
Un étudiant de première année de l'Université de Dayton meurt des complications du COVID-19
23 octobre, 14 h Un étudiant de première année de 18 ans à l'Université de Dayton est décédé hier, apparemment des complications liées au COVID-19.
L'université catholique romaine de l'Ohio a annoncé le décès de Michael Lang, un étudiant de première année de son Collège des arts et des sciences, dans un message adressé aujourd'hui aux étudiants, aux professeurs et aux membres du personnel. Lang était de LaGrange, Ill.
Il est décédé après une longue hospitalisation «apparemment due à des complications du COVID-19», selon le message. Lang a quitté le campus le 13 septembre «pour rentrer chez lui pour étudier à distance», a-t-il déclaré.
«Nous adressons nos plus sincères condoléances et prières à sa famille, à ses amis, à ses professeurs et à notre communauté du campus», a déclaré le message, signé par Eric F. Spina, président de l'université, William M. Fischer, son vice-président pour le développement étudiant, et Crystal Sullivan, son directeur exécutif du ministère du campus. «Les ministres du campus, le logement et la vie en résidence, et le personnel de conseil sont toujours disponibles pour vous et pour ceux que vous connaissez qui pourraient être profondément affectés par cette perte.»
L'université a invité les membres de la communauté du campus à allumer une bougie du souvenir et à prier pour Lang dans sa chapelle cet après-midi.
Les étudiants ont emménagé dans les résidences de l'Université de Dayton pendant deux semaines à compter du 8 août. L'université a depuis constaté plusieurs pics et baisses de cas de COVID-19 détectés, se déplaçant entre différents statuts de campus indiquant différents niveaux de confinement de l'épidémie et la transition entre en personne et à distance apprentissage.
Le tableau de bord COVID-19 de l'université répertorie 42 cas actifs et 1 368 cas récupérés au 22 octobre. Il couvre une période commençant le 10 août.
Aucune information supplémentaire n'est disponible pour le moment, selon Cilla Shindell, directrice exécutive des nouvelles et des communications de l'université.
Lang est au moins le troisième étudiant à être décédé des suites du COVID-19 ou de complications connexes cet automne. Chad Dorrill, un étudiant de deuxième année de 19 ans étudiant pour devenir physiothérapeute à l'Appalachian State University en Caroline du Nord, est décédé le 28 septembre. Jamain Stephens, un senior de 20 ans qui a joué le plaqueur défensif dans l'équipe de football de l'Université de Californie. de Pennsylvanie, est décédé le 8 septembre.
– Rick Seltzer
L'État du Michigan augmentera les cours en personne au printemps
23 octobre, 6 h 23 La Michigan State University a annoncé jeudi les premiers pas vers un semestre de printemps qui comprendra plus de cours en personne que ce semestre, mais toujours beaucoup moins que la normale.
«À l'automne, seulement 40 cours en personne étaient offerts à MSU. Ce printemps, nous prévoyons offrir environ 400 expériences éducatives en personne. Nous donnerons la priorité à des cours qui ne peuvent être enseignés qu'en personne afin de garder nos élèves sur la bonne voie pour une remise des diplômes à temps. Pour protéger la santé et le bien-être de la communauté, la plupart des cours seront encore offerts uniquement sous forme de cours en ligne », a déclaré une lettre de Samuel L. Stanley Jr., le président.
De plus, il a annoncé qu'environ 2 500 espaces supplémentaires dans les résidences à occupation simple seront disponibles pour ceux qui souhaitent ou doivent être sur le campus.
– Scott Jaschik
Les facultés de médecine appellent à une stratégie nationale sur les tests
22 octobre, 6 h 43 L'Association of American Medical Colleges a appelé jeudi à une stratégie nationale sur le dépistage du COVID-19.
«Sept mois après le début de la pandémie, les cas de COVID-19 continuent d’augmenter dans la plupart des États et dans la capitale nationale», a déclaré David J. Skorton, président et chef de la direction de l’AAMC. «Dans le même temps, les niveaux actuels de dépistage du virus SRAS-CoV-2 sont insuffisants pour identifier le nombre réel d'individus infectés et pour supprimer la propagation potentielle du virus dans notre pays.»
Le point clé de l'AAMC est d'appeler à «une stratégie nationale de test claire et transparente avec des méthodes spécifiques pour calculer les objectifs de diagnostic et de dépistage, et un mandat que chaque État applique les normes de la même manière».
Chaque personne présentant des symptômes et toute personne en contact étroit avec ceux qui ont le COVID-19 devraient être testés, selon l'AAMC.
En outre, l'AAMC a appelé à des tests de dépistage pour «toute personne qui entre dans un établissement de santé pour une hospitalisation ou une chirurgie ambulatoire». Et il a appelé à "des tests de routine sur chaque enseignant de la maternelle à la 12e année, tous les prestataires de soins de santé en milieu hospitalier et les premiers intervenants (y compris les agents d'application de la loi, les ambulanciers paramédicaux et les ambulanciers)". Il a également appelé le pays à «procéder à un échantillonnage stratégique des personnes incarcérées, des résidents et du personnel des refuges pour sans-abri, ainsi que des résidents des maisons de retraite et des résidences-services».
– Scott Jaschik
L'Université Chapman ouvre ses portes pour l'enseignement en personne
22 octobre, 6 h 27 L'Université Chapman a ouvert ses portes pour l'enseignement en personne pour la première fois ce semestre, Le registre du comté d'Orange signalé.
Les étudiants ont la possibilité de revenir ou de poursuivre l'enseignement en ligne.
Environ 35% des étudiants sont revenus sur le campus pour un apprentissage en personne.
– Scott Jaschik
Binghamton reprend les cours en personne aujourd'hui
22 octobre, 6 h 20 L'Université Binghamton, de l'Université d'État de New York, reprend les cours aujourd'hui après une pause de deux semaines en raison de cas de COVID-19.
Le président Harvey Stenger a déclaré: «À Binghamton, nous pouvons tous être fiers de ce que nous avons accompli. Nous avons réussi parce que chacun a fait sa part, ce qui caractérise un campus qui se réunit pour résoudre des défis.
Mercredi, 787 personnes avaient été testées pour le COVID-19, avec un seul résultat positif.
– Scott Jaschik
Oups: Une « épidémie importante '' dans le programme d'études à l'étranger n'est pas aussi importante
21 octobre, 13 h 45 le Université de Dallas a annoncé lundi que les deux tiers des étudiants de son programme d'études à l'étranger à Rome avaient contracté le COVID-19, ses responsables exprimant "une profonde tristesse et une déception" face à "l'épidémie importante".
Tard mardi, l'université a fait une autre annonce: les autorités italiennes ont foiré et l'épidémie, bien que toujours grave, n'est pas aussi importante que celle décrite à l'origine.
"Il n'y a pas de mots pour excuser l'erreur impardonnable commise hier par notre laboratoire", a déclaré mardi l'agence de santé italienne aux responsables de Dallas (en italien). Au lieu d'avoir eu 52 tests positifs et 26 négatifs parmi les 78 étudiants, comme Peter Hatlie, doyen et directeur du programme de Rome à Dallas, a été dit à l'origine, les chiffres ont été inversés et 26 étudiants étaient positifs et 52 négatifs, a écrit Hatlie.
«Nous sommes bien sûr soulagés et rassurés que le nombre de cas positifs soit environ 40% inférieur au sein de notre communauté par rapport à hier», a écrit Hatlie.
<< Au moment de la rédaction de cette lettre, je suis en contact avec l'autorité sanitaire locale pour comprendre les implications de ces chiffres corrigés pour la mobilité des étudiants et du personnel dans les prochains jours. Malgré leur fausse couche flagrante, quoique inhabituelle, ces derniers jours, nous doivent leur demander des conseils à cet égard et à d'autres égards, y compris la perspective de tests de suivi, car il est de leur responsabilité légale de protéger tous les citoyens et visiteurs relevant de leur juridiction. Pour en savoir plus, et les questions connexes, lorsque ces informations seront disponibles. "
– Doug Lederman
St. John Fisher passe en ligne pour le reste du semestre
21 octobre, 6 h 25 Le St. John Fisher College, à Rochester, New York, a annoncé mardi qu'il serait entièrement en ligne pour le reste du semestre.
«Bien que le nombre de cas confirmés n'atteigne pas le seuil de l'État de New York qui nous obligerait à prendre des mesures supplémentaires, nous restons concentrés sur la sécurité et le bien-être de nos étudiants, employés et de la communauté environnante. Par conséquent, nous avons décidé pour passer à l'enseignement à distance pour le reste du semestre d'automne », a déclaré le collège.
Les cours sont annulés demain et vendredi et reprendront – en ligne – lundi.
Le collège a eu 52 cas confirmés depuis le 10 octobre Le démocrate et la chronique signalé.
– Scott Jaschik
Le Michigan reçoit une commande au domicile
20 octobre, 15 h 01 L'Université du Michigan est soumise à une ordonnance de maintien à domicile (avec exceptions) de son bureau de santé du comté pour les deux prochaines semaines, Le Detroit Free Press signalé.
Soixante et un pour cent des cas de COVID-19 dans le comté dans lequel l'université est située proviennent de ses étudiants.
L'université a annoncé qu'elle déplaçait davantage de cours en ligne uniquement.
Les étudiants ne seront autorisés à quitter leur résidence que pour certaines activités, notamment pour aller en classe, pour se nourrir, pour obtenir des médicaments ou pour se faire soigner, pour se faire tester pour COVID-19 ou pour voter.
– Scott Jaschik
Coupes athlétiques à East Carolina
20 octobre, 6 h 25 Le programme d'athlétisme de l'Université d'East Carolina a annoncé des réductions de salaire et des congés pour l'ensemble du département d'athlétisme.
- Les entraîneurs-chefs de football et de basketball masculin verront leur salaire de base temporairement réduit de 20%.
- Les entraîneurs en chef du baseball et du basketball féminin verront leur salaire de base temporairement réduit de 15%.
- Les entraîneurs et les membres du personnel gagnant plus de 100 000 $ ou plus verront leur salaire réduit de 12%.
- Les entraîneurs et les membres du personnel qui gagnent entre 50 000 $ et 99 999 $ verront leur salaire temporairement réduit de 10 pour cent.
- Les entraîneurs et les membres du personnel gagnant moins de 50 000 $ seront mis en congé pendant 12 jours.
- Un groupe d'employés sera en congé prolongé allant de six semaines à 35 semaines.
– Scott Jaschik
Louisville raccourcit la semaine de relâche
20 octobre, 6 h 15 L'Université de Louisville a raccourci les vacances de printemps de la semaine normale à deux jours, Le journal du courrier de Louisville signalé.
De nombreuses universités avec des étudiants sur le campus ont éliminé les vacances de printemps, craignant que les étudiants ne voyagent et reviennent sur le campus avec le COVID-19. Mais les responsables de Louisville pensent que les étudiants auront besoin d'une pause au cours du semestre. Ils espèrent décourager les voyages en raccourcissant la pause.
– Scott Jaschik
Lafayette suspend l'athlétisme et ferme des bâtiments
19 octobre, 6 h 15 Le Collège Lafayette a suspendu les activités sportives et les repas en personne et a fermé plusieurs bâtiments à la suite d'une épidémie de COVID-19 au collège, Lehigh Valley en direct signalé.
Sept étudiants ont été détectés avec COVID-19.
Avant cela, Lafayette n'avait connu aucune épidémie majeure de COVID-19.
– Scott Jaschik
Le président de l'Université Saint Augustine décède des suites de complications du COVID-19
16 octobre 13 h 45 Irving McPhail, président de l’Université Saint Augustine, est décédé hier des suites du COVID-19.
McPhail a mis en quarantaine après avoir appris qu'il avait été en contact avec quelqu'un en dehors de l'université qui avait été testé positif au COVID-19. Il a reçu un résultat positif au test COVID-19 il y a environ 10 jours, selon James Perry, président du conseil d'administration de l'université. McPhail a développé plus tard des symptômes, notamment des maux de tête et de la fièvre, et il a été hospitalisé et mis sous respirateur, a déclaré Perry.
L’un des membres du personnel de McPhail a également été testé positif au virus, mais s’est rétabli et est de retour au travail. Deux étudiants de Saint Augustine ont été testés positifs au COVID-19 depuis le début du semestre d'automne, et tous deux se sont rétablis, a déclaré Perry.
Maria Lumpkin, vice-présidente et chef de cabinet de Saint Augustine's, est intervenue en tant que présidente par intérim.
Saint Augustine est une université privée historiquement noire à Raleigh, N.C. Elle a inscrit environ 900 étudiants de premier cycle à l'automne dernier. McPhail n'est devenu le président de l'université qu'en juillet. Il était auparavant le sixième président-directeur général du National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Inc., le chancelier fondateur du Community College of Baltimore County, le président du St.Louis Community College de Florissant Valley et le président du Lemoyne-Owen College.
– Emma Whitford
Goshen met l'athlétisme en attente en raison du COVID-19
16 octobre, 6 h 30 Le Goshen College, dans l'Indiana, a suspendu toutes les activités sportives pendant une semaine, en raison "d'une récente augmentation des cas de COVID-19".
Le centre de remise en forme sera également fermé.
"Bien que nous comprenions que ce n'est pas ce que chacun de nous veut, il est nécessaire de garder tous nos étudiants-athlètes et notre campus aussi sûrs que possible", ont écrit Erica Albertin, directrice sportive par intérim, et Gilberto Perez Jr., vice-président. pour la vie étudiante et doyen des étudiants. "Votre santé est notre principale préoccupation, et nos pensées et nos prières vont à ceux qui sont en isolement ou en quarantaine."
– Scott Jaschik
Chicago Business School passe en ligne après que les étudiants ont assisté à une fête
15 octobre, 6 h 25 La Booth School of Business de l'Université de Chicago est en ligne uniquement pendant deux semaines car un grand groupe d'étudiants a assisté à une fête hors du campus, et certains de ces étudiants ont été testés positifs au COVID-19, a rapporté CBS Chicago.
Plus de 100 étudiants du programme MBA à temps plein étaient à la fête. Tous ces étudiants sont maintenant en quarantaine.
«Pas un bon look pour eux. Pas une bonne idée de l'université », a déclaré un étudiant de Chicago, Daniel Simon.
– Scott Jaschik
14 octobre, 6 h 21 L'Université de Floride a suspendu son programme de football en raison de 19 joueurs atteints du COVID-19, La sentinelle d'Orlando signalé.
Cinq joueurs ont été détectés dimanche et les autres mardi.
"Par prudence, les activités de l'équipe sont interrompues à partir de mardi après-midi", a déclaré le directeur de l'athlétisme Scott Stricklin dans un communiqué. "L'entraîneur-chef Dan Mullen a été en communication avec les joueurs de football et leurs parents, et j'ai eu des conversations avec le Bureau de la Conférence du Sud-Est, adversaire de la semaine dernière Texas A&M et adversaire de cette semaine [Louisiana State University]. »
Mullen avait auparavant appelé les fans à remplir le stade au maximum. Mais les responsables universitaires ont déclaré qu'ils s'en tiendraient à leur limite initiale de 20% de capacité.
– Scott Jaschik
BYU Idaho met en garde les étudiants contre la sous-traitance intentionnelle du COVID-19, la vente de plasma
13 octobre, 12 h 00 L'Université Brigham Young de l'Idaho a publié lundi une mise à jour du campus affirmant que l'université était «troublée» par les récits selon lesquels des étudiants se seraient délibérément exposés au COVID-19 dans l'espoir de vendre du plasma contenant des anticorps contre la maladie.
"L'université condamne ce comportement et recherche activement des preuves d'une telle conduite parmi nos étudiants. Les étudiants qui sont déterminés à avoir intentionnellement exposé eux-mêmes ou d'autres personnes au virus seront immédiatement suspendus de l'université et pourront être renvoyés définitivement", a déclaré l'université. dit dans la mise à jour.
Les centres de plasma de l'Idaho offrent une plus grande compensation pour les dons contenant des anticorps COVID-19, a rapporté EastIdahoNews.com.
La Food and Drug Administration a autorisé l'utilisation de plasma avec des anticorps COVID-19 pour traiter la maladie en milieu hospitalier et a conclu que le produit pouvait être efficace comme traitement.
– Lilah Burke
Ohio Wesleyan élimine 18 majors
13 octobre, 7 h 39 L'Ohio Wesleyan University a éliminé 18 majors et consolidé d'autres programmes pour économiser 4 millions de dollars par an, La dépêche de Columbus signalé.
Les majors incluent la littérature comparée, les neurosciences computationnelles, la danse, l'enseignement des sciences de la terre, les sciences de la terre, la géologie, l'allemand, la promotion de la santé, le journalisme, les études du Moyen-Orient, la science planétaire, la religion et les études urbaines.
Un exemple de ces consolidations est que les études sur le monde noir et les études sur les femmes et le genre se joindront et deviendront un département d'études sur l'identité critique.
Tous les étudiants qui se spécialisent actuellement dans l'un des domaines éliminés pourront terminer la majeure.
Le COVID-19 n'était pas la seule cause des coupures, ont déclaré des responsables universitaires.
Le président Rock Jones a déclaré: "Grâce aux mesures administratives et académiques prises par l'OWU au cours des six derniers mois, l'Ohio Wesleyan est devenu une université plus ciblée et plus efficace."
– Scott Jaschik
Kutztown perd 1000 étudiants en option en ligne
13 octobre, 6 h 22 L'Université de Kutztown, en Pennsylvanie, a accueilli 3 300 étudiants sur le campus à l'automne. Mais plus de 1000 sont partis en quelques semaines, craignant le COVID-19 et optant pour l'éducation en ligne, L'appel du matin signalé.
En plus de ne pas avoir d'étudiants sur le campus, l'université perd 3,5 millions de dollars en frais de chambre et de repas qu'elle aurait perçus.
Paul Berlet, un étudiant de Kutztown qui n'est pas revenu cette année, a déclaré: «Ce n'est pas un environnement sûr et sain pour le moment, surtout si l'on tient compte du manque de rassemblements sociaux, ce qui est bien, et de l'incapacité de l'administration à réellement assurer la sécurité de ces personnes.
– Scott Jaschik
À l'Université du New Hampshire, le corps professoral et le personnel dépassent les étudiants dans les infections au COVID-19
12 octobre, 6 h 21 Comme la plupart des collèges, l'Université du New Hampshire a consacré des ressources considérables pour dire aux étudiants ce qu'ils devraient faire (et ne pas faire) pour empêcher la propagation du COVID-19. Mais Le moniteur Concord rapporte qu'au cours des deux dernières semaines, le personnel et les professeurs ont eu 104 cas positifs, tandis que les étudiants ont eu 91 cas.
Erika Mantz, porte-parole de l'université, ne pouvait pas dire pourquoi l'université a connu une flambée de cas positifs de COVID-19 parmi les professeurs et le personnel.
«Bien que tout cas positif de COVID soit une préoccupation, l'université identifie plus de cas positifs à la suite de ses tests réguliers de tous les membres de la communauté, pas seulement ceux qui présentent des symptômes», a-t-elle déclaré.
– Scott Jaschik
Le professeur démissionne pour protester contre son travail au milieu du COVID-19
9 octobre, 6 h 28 Un professeur de l'Université dominicaine de l'Illinois a quitté son emploi cette semaine pour protester contre les conditions de travail avec COVID-19, a rapporté NBC Chicago.
Gary Wilson a déclaré qu'il avait arrêté après qu'un étudiant de son cours de laboratoire d'anatomie avancé ait été testé positif pour le coronavirus. «Je leur ai dit que je démissionnais parce que c’était un lieu de travail dangereux», a déclaré Wilson. «Tout ce dont vous avez besoin, c'est d'une personne pour infecter tout le monde. Regardez la Maison Blanche. »
Wilson a déclaré que les 60 élèves de la classe devraient être mis en quarantaine pendant 14 jours.
L'université a confirmé qu'un étudiant avait été testé positif pour le virus. Mais l'université a déclaré que la recherche des contacts avait été utilisée et que seuls trois étudiants devaient être mis en quarantaine.
– Scott Jaschik
La New England Sports League annule la saison hivernale
8 octobre, 14 h 25 La conférence sportive du New England Small College a annoncé jeudi l'annulation de la saison des sports d'hiver de la division III. La ligue semble être l'une des premières à franchir cette étape, la National Collegiate Athletic Association poursuivant ses championnats de sports d'hiver, même si parfois avec une durée de saison ou des tournois réduits.
Les présidents des membres de la ligue, qui comprennent 11 collèges d'arts libéraux sélectifs du Connecticut, du Maine, du Massachusetts et de New York, ont déclaré que les changements dans les calendriers académiques de nombreux établissements pour le semestre de printemps signifiaient que de nombreux étudiants ne retourneraient pas sur leur campus avant fin janvier ou début février, coupant profondément dans la saison traditionnelle des compétitions intra-conférence.
Le Middlebury College, par exemple, a annoncé aujourd'hui qu'il tiendrait virtuellement son trimestre de janvier et que les étudiants reviendraient pour le printemps deux semaines plus tard que la normale, à la fin de février. Le Bowdoin College a déclaré cette semaine qu'il amènerait les étudiants en deuxième année, les juniors et les seniors sur le campus pour le trimestre de printemps, également deux semaines plus tard que d'habitude.
"Nous comprenons que cette décision décevra beaucoup de nos étudiants, étant donné le rôle important que joue l'athlétisme dans l'expérience étudiante", indique le communiqué. << Nous restons déterminés à offrir à nos étudiants des opportunités significatives de s'engager dans des activités sportives. Les étudiants peuvent continuer à participer à des activités d'entraînement, à la force et au conditionnement, au développement des compétences et au leadership conformément aux politiques de la NCAA, de la Conférence et de l'établissement, ainsi qu'aux politiques de l'État et directives sanitaires locales. "
La ligue a également déclaré que les membres «peuvent programmer des compétitions extérieures à leur discrétion». Les membres du NESCAC sont les collèges Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity et Williams et les universités Tufts et Wesleyan.
– Doug Lederman
Top Journal, citant COVID-19, approuve Biden, sans le nommer
8 octobre, 6 h 28 Un grand journal a approuvé Joe Biden à la présidence parce que l'administration Trump est «dangereusement incompétente». L'approbation, par Le New England Journal of Medicine, c'est la première fois que le journal approuve qui que ce soit.
"Bien que nous ayons tendance à nous concentrer sur la technologie, la plupart des interventions qui ont des effets importants ne sont pas compliquées", indique l'éditorial. << Les États-Unis ont institué des mesures de quarantaine et d'isolement tardivement et de manière incohérente, souvent sans aucun effort pour les faire appliquer, après que la maladie se soit largement répandue dans de nombreuses communautés. Nos règles en matière de distanciation sociale ont dans de nombreux endroits été au mieux absurdes, avec un relâchement des restrictions depuis longtemps avant qu'un contrôle adéquat de la maladie n'ait été atteint. Et dans une grande partie du pays, les gens ne portent tout simplement pas de masque, en grande partie parce que nos dirigeants ont déclaré catégoriquement que les masques sont des outils politiques plutôt que des mesures efficaces de contrôle des infections. Le gouvernement a investi massivement dans les vaccins. développement, mais sa rhétorique a politisé le processus de développement et conduit à une méfiance croissante du public. "
L'éditorial poursuit: << La réponse des dirigeants de notre pays a toujours été insuffisante. Le gouvernement fédéral a largement abandonné la lutte contre la maladie aux États. Les gouverneurs ont varié dans leurs réponses, non pas tant par parti que par compétence. Mais quelle que soit leur compétence, les gouverneurs n'ont pas les outils que Washington contrôle. "
L'éditorial ne mentionne pas Biden ou le président Trump par leur nom.
Il conclut: "Nos dirigeants ont largement revendiqué l'immunité pour leurs actions. Mais cette élection nous donne le pouvoir de rendre un jugement. Les gens raisonnables ne seront certainement pas d'accord sur les nombreuses positions politiques adoptées par les candidats. Mais la vérité n'est ni libérale ni conservatrice. face à la plus grande crise de santé publique de notre temps, nos dirigeants politiques actuels ont démontré qu'ils sont dangereusement incompétents. Nous ne devons pas les encourager et permettre la mort de milliers d'Américains supplémentaires en leur permettant de conserver leur emploi. "
– Scott Jaschik
Syracuse limite les rassemblements sociaux après la fête liés à 45 cas
7 octobre, 6 h 28 L'Université de Syracuse a limité les rassemblements sociaux à cinq personnes après qu'une fête hors campus ait été liée à 45 cas de COVID-19, a rapporté Syracuse.com. Plus de cas de COVID-19 sont attendus du parti.
Les limites ne s'appliquent pas aux cours.
Auparavant, l'université interdisait les événements sociaux avec plus de 25 personnes.
L'université demande également à toutes les fraternités et sororités d'adopter une politique de «non-visiteurs».
– Scott Jaschik
Recherche: seulement 25% des collèges effectuent des tests de surveillance
6 octobre, 11 h 20 An analysis of testing strategies at more than 1,400 institutions found that more than two-thirds either have no clear testing plan or are only testing “at-risk” students, those who either feel sick or who have had contact with an individual who tested positive for coronavirus, National Public Radio reported. The analysis was done by researchers at the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College, in North Carolina.
Just 25 percent of colleges are conducting mass screening or random “surveillance” testing of students. Only 6 percent are routinely testing all of their students.
Some experts have argued that frequent surveillance testing is necessary to contain outbreaks because the virus can be spread by asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals. Recently revised guidance on testing at higher education institutions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that “a strategy of entry screening combined with regular serial testing might prevent or reduce” transmission of the virus, although the guidance stops short of explicitly recommending serial testing as a strategy.
Officials at many institutions that are not testing regularly say that doing so would be too expensive for them.
— Elizabeth Redden
Doane President Proposes Closing Numerous Programs
Oct. 6, 6:30 a.m. The president of Doane University, in Nebraska, has proposed ending a number of programs because of financial pressures created by the COVID-19 pandemic, 10/11 Now reported.
The president, Jacque Carter, proposed ending:
- Minor in Asian studies
- Minor in computational science
- Major in criminal justice
- Major in English as a second language
- Major in film and media production
- Minor in gender studies
- Major and minor in German
- Major in graphic arts and print design
- Major in health and society
- Major in international studies
- Major in law, politics and society
- Major and minor in philosophy
- Major and minor in political science
- Major and minor in religious studies
The Faculty Council has this month to provide its recommendations. The board of the university will vote on the cuts in November.
— Scott Jaschik
Oct. 5, 12:15 p.m. The Belmont campus of Scott Community College, part of Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, is closed until Monday, Oct. 12, after a small number of staff reported positive cases of COVID-19.
As of Monday morning, two staff members had reported testing positive for the virus, according to a college spokesman.
"In an abundance of caution," the campus was closed to everyone to prevent spreading the virus, the website states. Students will take their courses online this week, and services will be provided virtually. No one is allowed onto campus. Faculty can make appointments to pick up items they need to work from home.
The college's other campuses remain open.
— Madeline St. Amour
Instagram Connects Freshmen During Pandemic
Oct. 5, 6:27 a.m. Instagram has become a key tool for freshmen to make friends, either from their homes or from colleges that limit their movement on campus, Le Boston Globe reported.
The story focuses on collegeboston2024, an account created by Lucy Garberg, a freshman at Tufts University. "My hope is that this account will bring us together," she wrote in May.
The site has thousands of followers and requires seven students to manage.
“We can’t really rely on naturally organic, flowing relationships, which is what I thought was going to happen in college,” said Jaime Kim, a student Garberg recruited to help her manage the account. “We definitely have to … go out of our way to reach out to people.”
— Scott Jaschik
Notre Dame President Tests Positive for COVID-19
Oct. 2, 1:20 p.m. The University of Notre Dame announced Friday that its president, the Reverend John Jenkins, tested positive for COVID-19 just days after attending a White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
A colleague Father Jenkins was in regular contact with had tested positive for the virus, and Father Jenkins was subsequently tested, according to a message to students, faculty and staff members. He will quarantine at home.
“My symptoms are mild and I will continue to work from home,” Father Jenkins said in a statement. “The positive test is a good reminder for me and perhaps for all of how vigilant we need to be.”
The announcement follows the news overnight of U.S. president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump testing positive for the virus.
Earlier this week, Jenkins was criticized for not wearing a mask or social distancing at White House event for Barrett.
— Emma Whitford
Penn State Releases Student Punishments
Oct. 2, 6:24 a.m. Pennsylvania State University on Thursday released a list of the punishments students have received for violating COVID-19 rules since Aug. 17. The punishments include:
- Suspensions for the rest of the academic year: 10.
- Removal from on-campus housing: 17.
- Probation or probation with a transcript notation: 204.
- Warnings, "which may include a discussion about the situation, an explanation of the misconduct and expectations going forward, and a warning that a further violation may result in more serious consequences": 1,046.
“The university's top priority in response to the pandemic has been the health and safety of our community. We are grateful for the seriousness with which most of our students take the virus’ threat, but we will continue to hold accountable those students who threaten our community by violating our clearly stated expectations,” said Damon Sims, vice president for student affairs.
— Scott Jaschik
Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Tuition Refund for Remote Learning
Oct. 1, 3:35 p.m. A federal judge on Thursday largely dismissed a lawsuit in which a group of Northeastern University students sought refunds of their tuition and other payments after the university, like most colleges in the country, closed its campuses and shifted to remote learning because of the coronavirus last spring.
Many such cases were filed last spring and summer, and this appears to be the first one decided by a federal court.
In his ruling, Judge Richard G. Stearns granted Northeastern's motion to dismiss the class action on all of the students' demands except for possible refund of the campus recreation fee, which he agreed could proceed.
The two named plaintiffs, Thom Gallo and Manny Chong, undergraduate and graduate students, respectively, had paid Northeastern between $23,400 and $26,100 in tuition, plus several hundred dollars in fees for the spring term. Chong petitioned the university for a refund based on the "pedagogical inferiority of online instruction," and when that was rejected, he and Gallo filed a class action on behalf of similarly situated students, saying that the university either breached its contract with them or engaged in unjust enrichment.
The judge, citing the annual financial responsibility agreement that students sign with Northeastern, concluded that the university did not commit to providing in-person instruction, invalidating the breach-of-contract claim. Stearns dismissed the claims for refunded student fees because, he said, students pay those fees "to 'support' certain facilities during terms for which those students are enrolled in classes, not to gain access to any on-campus facility or resource."
Stearns permitted the recreation fee claim to proceed because that fee gives students the option to attend home sporting events and to use fitness facilities that were unavailable to them when the campus closed.
— Doug Lederman
University of Denver Suspends 38 Athletes for Attending Off-Campus Party
Oct. 1, 6:23 a.m. The University of Denver suspended 38 members of the swim and dive team for attending a large off-campus party in violation of COVID-19 rules set by the university, 9News reported.
"We will continue to swiftly pursue disciplinary action if members of our community disregard the protocols and public health orders designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19," said a letter explaining the decision. "We can’t have anyone in our community believe they don’t need to abide by DU’s, the city’s or the state’s COVID-19 restrictions while the rest of the community is working so hard to have protocols in place intended to keep everyone safe and healthy."
All of the athletes will be required to test for COVID-19 and are under "location restrictions" until they test negative, the letter says.
— Scott Jaschik
U of Florida Approves Regulation for Furlough Policy
Sept. 30, 6:30 a.m. The University of Florida Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved a regulation for a furlough policy that would apply to faculty members, sworn law enforcement and postdoctoral associate employees. "Furloughs are designed to be a proportionate response to such conditions and a job preservation tool, where possible, in lieu of layoffs or other separations from employment," the policy says.
The university said it does not plan to use the policy right now but wants it in place should it lose more money during the pandemic.
Paul Ortiz, president of the United Faculty of Florida Union, said many are worried about the new policy, WCJB reported. “I beg you to first consider the many alternatives that exist to going down the furlough road. I am looking for a firm commitment from the BOT and President [Kent] Fuchs to use the university’s unrestricted net assets and other resources in order to buffer our campus from the types of budget cuts that will negatively impact the working lives and fragile earning power of members of our community already reeling from the global pandemic and the after-effects of the Great Recession,” Ortiz said.
— Scott Jaschik
CDC: COVID-19 Cases Among Young Adults Rose Sharply as Campuses Filled
Sept. 29, 5 p.m. The number of young adults with COVID-19 rose by 55 percent from early August to early September, as most colleges were bringing students back to their campuses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report Tuesday.
The federal agency's "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" found that the incidence of COVID cases among people aged 18 to 22 years increased by nearly 63 percent from Aug. 2 to Aug. 29, then dropped off slightly through Sept. 5, accounting for the 55 percent rise. The increases were greatest in the Northeast (144 percent) and Midwest (123 percent). The increases were particularly sharp among white young adults, as seen below.
posted sur Twitter. “Solidarity forever!”
— Lilah Burke
Middlebury Punishes 22 Students for Violating COVID-19 Rules
Sept. 23, 6:21 a.m. Middlebury College has punished 22 students for rules violations related to COVID-19.
"We have concluded that 22 students violated college policies related to COVID-19. We took swift action according to our sanctioning guidelines shared earlier with the community. These sanctions included revoking on-campus housing privileges and disallowing the students from visiting, studying, or taking courses on campus," said a message on Middlebury's website from Derek Doucet, dean of students.
He continued, "We cannot share any more details of particular conduct cases because of privacy concerns. I can tell you that these were very difficult decisions to make, but there is nothing more important than the health and safety of our community. Students removed from campus because of COVID-19 violations are ordinarily eligible to return in the following semester."
— Scott Jaschik
Sept. 22, 3:40 p.m. The University of Notre Dame postponed a Sept. 26 football game against Wake Forest University after seven players on the Fighting Irish team tested positive for COVID-19, Notre Dame's athletics department said in a statement. All football-related activities are on pause “until further testing is completed,” the statement said.
Notre Dame administered 94 COVID-19 tests to football players on Monday, and the seven athletes who tested positive are now in isolation, the statement said. A total of 13 players are in isolation and 10 are in quarantine, based on this and last week’s testing results from the football team, the statement said.
— Greta Anderson
Researchers Estimate Campus Openings Linked to ~3,000 New Daily Cases
Sept. 22, 10:48 a.m. A new working paper estimates that reopening college campuses for in-person instruction has been associated with more than 3,000 additional COVID-19 cases per day in the United States.
The researchers found an increase of 2.4 daily cases per 100,000 people in counties with a campus that opened for in-person instruction.
“No such increase is observed in counties with no colleges, closed colleges or those that opened primarily online,” they write.
"The uptick in local COVID-19 incidence was higher in colleges with greater exposure to students from states with high recent COVID-19 case rates. College reopenings that drew students from areas with a 10 percent greater weekly incidence were associated with an additional 1.19 new cases per 100,000 per day."
The lead author of the study, conducted by a group of scholars with expertise in economics, epidemiology and higher education, is Martin Andersen, assistant professor of economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Researchers plan to publish the paper, titled "College Openings, Mobility, and the Incidence of COVID-19 Cases," on a server for preprints (e.g., articles that have not yet been peer reviewed), medRxiv.
Elon Moves to Level 3 Alert
Sept. 22, 6:20 a.m. Elon University has moved to level 3 — high alert following an increase in COVID-19 cases.
The university moved to level 2 four days prior after an outbreak among athletes led to the suspension of athletic practices. Since the move to level 2, 79 students have tested positive for COVID-19.
The move to high alert level has prompted the university to increase testing. The university's mobile testing lab plans to conduct tests of 300 people who have had indirect contact with people who have tested positive. And random testing will be increased to 400 tests. (Elon enrolls about 7,000 students.)
In addition, certain classes with a “significant proportion” of positive cases will move online.
— Scott Jaschik
Northeastern Lets Suspended Students Apply Tuition to Spring Semester
Sept. 18, 6:23 a.m. Northeastern University has backed down, in part, on its decision to charge full tuition to 11 students it suspended for violating the rules mandating social distancing and wearing face masks, Le Boston Globe reported.
The university originally said that it would take the entire tuition payment for the semester, $36,500. But now the university is taking only $8,740. The rest can be applied to the spring semester's tuition.
“The university’s response is still not acceptable, although it is telling that they appear to be backtracking from their initial position about taking these families' money without an obligation to deliver any services whatsoever,” said Brett Joshpe, a lawyer for two of the students' families.
— Scott Jaschik
President Sorry for Posting Photo
Sept. 17, 6:27 a.m. The president of Allegheny College is apologizing for posting a photograph of herself outside, off campus, The Meadville Tribune reported.
The photo was posted to Instagram at a time when the college's students were all supposed to be on campus in a quarantine.
Hilary Link, the president, apologized. "Posting the picture without the whole context was not my best choice," Link told the Tribune on Tuesday. "I was watching my 14-year-old son in his first-ever varsity soccer game for the Meadville High School in a stadium very, very physically distanced from every other person except my husband — wearing masks," Link said. "Everybody was wearing masks. Outdoors. Absolutely following guidelines that we set out for our facility and staff who do not live on campus."
Students and parents complained about her photo.
— Scott Jaschik
Big Ten Will Play Football in October
Sept. 16, 10:10 a.m. The Big Ten Conference reversed course on its decision to postpone college football until spring 2021 and will instead resume competition Oct. 23, the league announced Wednesday. The decision applies only to football, and the future of other fall sports “will be announced shortly,” a Big Ten news release said.
The conference, which includes big-time football programs such as Pennsylvania State University, the University of Michigan and Ohio State University, originally decided in August that the medical risks of COVID-19 for athletes called for postponement. The league’s leaders were concerned about a heart condition, myocarditis, that some athletes who previously had COVID-19 are at risk of developing due to heart inflammation while battling symptoms of the virus.
League leaders faced political pressure to resume the season from governors of several states and from the federal government, including United States senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, and even President Donald Trump, who met with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren earlier this month. Parents of Big Ten athletes also protested the decision and several University of Nebraska football players sued the league, USA Today reported.
Along with the decision to resume fall play, the league developed new protocols for testing athletes for COVID-19, cardiac screening and “an enhanced data-driven approach when making decisions about practice/competition,” the press release said. All athletes, coaches and others on the field for practice and games will be tested daily for COVID-19 and athletes who test positive will not be able to return to games for 21 days, the release said. The resumption of practice or games will be determined by the team and staff members’ coronavirus positivity rate.
“Our goal has always been to return to competition so all student-athletes can realize their dream of competing in the sports they love,” Warren said in the release. “We are incredibly grateful for the collaborative work that our Return to Competition Task Force have accomplished to ensure the health, safety and wellness of student-athletes, coaches and administrators.”
— Greta Anderson
SUNY, Faculty Union Reach Agreement on Testing Professors
Sept. 15, 6:24 a.m. The State University of New York and its faculty union, United University Professions, announced an agreement under which faculty members will be tested for the coronavirus.
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, "We will now regularly test UUP faculty members serving on campus for the virus. I want to thank President Frederick Kowal for his continued leadership in protecting his members and all of SUNY as we make COVID-19 testing available for all of our UUP faculty and other professional members. This will help us pinpoint and isolate cases on our campuses, avoid outbreaks, and most importantly — keep our dedicated faculty members safe. I look forward to working closely with UUP leadership in the months ahead as we navigate these uncertain times."
Kowal said, “We welcome this opportunity to make the SUNY state-operated campuses as safe as we possibly can for students, for the surrounding campus communities and for our UUP membership, with this new agreement for mandatory COVID-19 testing of employees represented by UUP."
— Scott Jaschik
University of Arizona Recommends Shelter in Place for Students
Sept. 14, 3:40 p.m. The University of Arizona and the Pima County Health Department are recommending students on campus and near campus shelter in place for 14 days as the university battles a rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Students following that recommendation, which has also been described as a voluntary quarantine, would still be able to travel to certain activities like essential in-person classes or to purchase necessities like food or medication that can’t be delivered. Leaders are still determining the exact geographic area to be covered by the recommendation. They expect to release additional details later today.
Without intervention, officials worry the coronavirus could incubate among students and spread to more vulnerable populations in the region.
“The university is not an island,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, director of public health for Pima County, during a virtual news conference today. “It may seem that way, sometimes, but it’s not.”
Local government officials were already considering steps like removing pool permits from apartment complexes that host a large number of students. The university has confirmed well over 600 positive cases this month.
Officials during today's news conference blamed off-campus social gatherings for accelerating transmission of the virus. The university has been operating with limited in-person courses since beginning the fall semester at the end of August.
The university’s president, Robert C. Robbins, called Monday’s announcement a “last-ditch effort” to ask students to follow social distancing rules before more drastic changes must be made.
“I’m short of saying ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,’ because there are only certain things that I can do,” Robbins said. “But this is part of being a good member of society, to take into account the health of others — not just your individual health, and not just your individual desire to go out and have a good time and party.”
— Rick Seltzer
Athletes With COVID-19 at Risk of Heart Inflammation, Small Study Finds
Sept. 12, 2:32 p.m. Roughly one in six college athletes who contracted COVID-19 later showed evidence of heart inflammation that could be dangerous if they return to play, a new study found.
The small study, conducted on 26 athletes at Ohio State University and published in JAMA Cardiology, revealed through cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging that four of the athletes had myocarditis, heart inflammation that can cause serious damage. Several others showed evidence of previous myocarditis that could have resulted from the coronavirus.
The threat of COVID-driven myocarditis among competitive athletes has been a source of contention in recent weeks. The Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences opted not to play this fall in significant part because of concern among its member universities about the potentially fatal heart ailment.
Last week, officials at Pennsylvania State University sent conflicting signals about the threat. After the university's director of athletic medicine said at a public meeting that about a third of Big Ten Conference athletes who tested positive for the coronavirus showed signs of myocarditis, university officials sought to correct the record, citing the 15 percent figure.
— Doug Lederman
Missouri President, Under Threat of Suit, Removes Twitter Blocks
Sept. 11, 6:24 a.m. University of Missouri president Mun Choi has removed blocks on his Twitter account from students who were posting criticism of the university's policies on reopening the campus, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported.
Choi removed the blocks after a lawyer threatened to sue over them. "Not only is it immoral and repugnant for President Choi to block students and other persons on social media who are trying to raise awareness of campus safety issues in the middle of a global pandemic, it is also unlawful," the lawyer wrote.
A spokesman for Choi said some of the posts that led the president to block the accounts were obscene.
— Scott Jaschik
California State to Stay Virtual in Spring 2021
Sept. 10, 7:45 p.m. The California State University system has announced that all 23 of its campuses will continue to offer virtual instruction for the academic term beginning in January 2021.
“After extensive consultation with campus presidents and other stakeholders, and careful consideration of a multitude of factors — regarding the pandemic and its consequences, as well as other matters impacting the university and its operations — I am announcing that the CSU will continue with this primarily virtual instructional approach for the academic term that begins in January 2021, and also will continue with reduced populations in campus housing,” CSU chancellor Timothy P. White announced in a message to the university Wednesday. “This decision is the only responsible one available to us at this time. And it is the only one that supports our twin North Stars of safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of our faculty, staff, students and communities, as well as enabling degree progression for the largest number of students.”
White said the decision was announced now in order to give students and their families time to plan for the spring 2021 semester. He also cited the need to publish and promote course offerings and to meet accreditation requirements for virtual courses.
— Marjorie Valbrun
Wisconsin Pauses In-Person Instruction, Quarantines 2 Residence Halls
Sept. 10, 7:55 a.m. The University of Wisconsin at Madison announced Wednesday evening that it would pause in-person instruction for two weeks, citing a positive COVID-19 testing rate that had risen above 20 percent this week.
Much of the increase was driven by off-campus activity, but "the latest numbers also show a sharp increase in certain residence halls," said Chancellor Rebecca Blank. "We will not contain this spread without significant additional action."
In addition to the two weeks of fully virtual instruction for undergraduate and graduate students alike, Wisconsin said it would impose a quarantine on two residence halls where positive cases have spiked, close all in-person study spaces at libraries and the student union, and cancel all in-person gatherings of more than 10 people.
"I share the disappointment and frustration of students and employees who had hoped we might enjoy these first few weeks of the academic year together," Blank said.
— Doug Lederman
Stanford Medical Faculty Attack ‘Falsehoods’ by Trump Adviser
Sept. 10, 6:28 a.m. More than 70 professors at Stanford University's medical school have signed a letter criticizing the "falsehoods and misrepresentations of science" by Scott Atlas, a former colleague currently advising President Trump on the coronavirus.
Specifically, the letter defends face masks, social distancing and the development of a vaccine and says that young children can get the virus.
"Failure to follow the science — or deliberately misrepresenting the science — will lead to immense avoidable harm," the letter says.
— Scott Jaschik
Tennessee Evacuates Residence Hall So More Students Can Isolate
Sept. 9, 1:30 p.m. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where the number of students with COVID-19 has almost tripled this month, to 612, told students in one of its residence halls Wednesday that they would have to move out to make room for self-isolating peers.
"I recognize that this is unexpected news and that shifting residence halls will disrupt your semester. I am sorry for the disruption, and we are here to support you academically, socially, mentally, and financially," Frank Cuevas, vice chancellor for student life, said in an email to residents of Massey Hall Wednesday. "I know this is not how you envisioned your semester, and we will work to support you through this. As circumstances evolve on campus we are adjusting our operational plans to help manage through this pandemic, with our top priority being the health and well-being of our campus community."
Like many major public universities, Tennessee is seeing large numbers of students test positive for COVID-19 and much larger numbers in isolation or quarantine. The University of Tennessee System coronavirus dashboard shows a doubling of the number of students in either isolation or quarantine at the Knoxville campus between Aug. 31 and Sept. 8, to 2025 from 990.
Tennessee officials said the hotel they had secured was inadequate to house all the isolating students. They chose Massey for the overflow, they said, because of its size and the fact that it has proportionally few students living there now. The students who live there can choose between either moving to another residence hall on the campus or canceling their housing contract and moving back home. The university said it would provide "supplies and staff" to help students move to another room on the campus, and would "make every effort" to keep roommates together.
— Doug Lederman
Wisconsin-Madison Restricts Student Activities
Sept. 9, 6:29 a.m. The University of Wisconsin at Madison has restricted students to "essential activities" for two weeks, to control the spread of COVID-19.
The following activities were defined as essential:
- Medical care, including COVID-19 testing
- Purchasing food
- Going to a job
- "Engaging in an individual outdoor activity, such as running or walking"
- Attending a religious service
The university reported an increase in positive test results for the virus.
— Scott Jaschik
Florida State Shows Increase
Sept. 9, 6:19 a.m. Florida State University is seeing an increase in the number of students testing positive for the coronavirus, The Tallahassee Democrat reported. More than 700 students tested positive last week.
“Florida State does not plan a shift to remote instruction at this time. If a decision is made to transition to all remote instruction in the future, the university will notify the community,” the university said. “The current increase in cases was not unexpected as it correlates to the marked increase in voluntary testing of the campus community during the first two weeks of the fall semester.”
— Scott Jaschik
Advice for Keeping Students Safe Amid COVID-19 Outbreaks
Sept. 4, 10:20 a.m. As a growing number of colleges and universities struggle to control COVID-19 after resuming in-person instruction, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) released results of a survey of public health experts and others on how colleges should respond now to outbreaks of the virus. The more than 100 respondents to the survey included physicians, health-care administrators, students and community leaders.
Colleges should conduct daily saliva testing as well as random sample blood/mucosal testing to track the spread, prevalence and incidence of the virus, the survey found. Respondents said colleges also should have contact tracing capacity in place. The survey found that institutions should run crowdsourced symptom monitoring with as many students and employees as possible, using wearable wrist and bed sensor devices. And it said colleges should require students to wear a device to track their movement and notify students when they are not practicing adequate social distancing.
"The safety of our campuses for students, faculty, staff, surrounding neighborhoods and local health personnel requires vigorous and innovative measures. To date, we have not seen a national strategy to address these outbreaks and ensure the safety of those involved with higher education. The suggestions provided through this survey can help universities answer these difficult questions and make decisions based in science and a public health approach," Karen Wolk Feinstein, president and CEO of PRHI, said in a statement.
Masks should be mandatory for students, the survey said. And colleges should use and enforce codes of conduct to encourage social distancing. The survey also said colleges should not penalize faculty members for choosing to work remotely.
The group of respondents said college leaders should close hot spots for transmission, including bars that violate protocols and fraternity homes.
"Close fraternity houses. Period," the report on the survey's results said.
Respondents urged college leaders to communicate with their local communities about measures institutions have taken to keep them safe.
"Ask the community how they think the university can be a partner in protecting all," the report said. "They did not have a voice in campus reopenings, so engage them now."
The Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative is the operating arm of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and a member of the national Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement.
— Paul Fain
Sept. 4, 9:45 a.m. Pennsylvania State University has issued new information after its director of athletic medicine drew attention this week by saying in a public meeting that about a third of Big Ten Conference athletes who tested positive for the coronavirus showed signs of myocarditis.
The official, Wayne Sebastianelli, made the comments Monday at a local school board meeting about “initial preliminary data that had been verbally shared by a colleague on a forthcoming study,” a Penn State Health spokesman said, according to multiple news outlets. Sebastianelli didn’t know the study had been published with a significantly lower rate of myocarditis — about 15 percent for athletes who had the virus.
Penn State also said that its athletes who’d tested positive for the coronavirus had no cases of myocarditis.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle that can cut the heart’s ability to pump and cause abnormal heart rhythms, according to the Mayo Clinic. Untreated, it can cause permanent damage to the heart and lead to heart failure, heart attack, stroke or sudden death.
— Rick Seltzer
Maryland Suspends Athletic Activities After COVID-19 Spike
Sept. 4, 6:25 a.m. The University of Maryland at College Park suspended all athletic activities after a spike in athletes testing positive for the coronavirus, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Maryland said that 501 student athletes were tested for COVID-19 on Monday and Tuesday. Of those, 46 had positive tests. They were on 10 teams.
The Big Ten is not playing games this fall, but has been allowing athletes who have tested negative to practice.
— Scott Jaschik
Democrats Urge Campus Ban on Vaping During Pandemic
Sept. 3, 5:46 p.m. Top House and Senate Democrats are urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to advise colleges to bar e-cigarettes for the fall semester.
In the letter, Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, chairman of the House economic and consumer policy oversight subcommittee, and Senator Dick Durbin cited a Journal of Adolescent Health study, which found that 13- to 24-year-olds who vape are five times more likely than nonvapers to be diagnosed with COVID-19.
“With the added public health risk posed by coronavirus, the CDC must act quickly and forcefully,” wrote Krishnamoorthi and Durbin, both of Illinois.
— Kery Murakami
Union Calls on Louisiana Board to End Face-to-Face Activities
Sept. 3, 3:30 p.m. The United Campus Workers of Louisiana today called for regents to stop face-to-face activities because of the coronavirus.
A statement from the union, which was chartered a year ago and has about 120 members who are graduate workers, faculty members and staff members, focused heavily on the situation at Louisiana State University. LSU has counted a total of 366 positive cases of COVID-19 since Aug. 15, with most coming since Aug. 25.
More information has been learned about the transmission of the coronavirus since the university created its reopening plans, the union said in its statement. It raised concerns about the risk of transmission in enclosed spaces and from people who are not showing symptoms of the infection.
“In light of these facts, reopening a university system that operates in all 64 parishes in Louisiana endangers everyone in the state, particularly the state’s underserved and high-risk populations,” said the union’s statement. “For the safety of the LSU community and the state at large, United Campus Workers of Louisiana calls on the Louisiana Board of Regents to act in accordance with its ‘constitutional mandate to serve the educational, health care and economic development goals of Louisiana’ and immediately halt face to face activities on campus.”
The statement comes shortly after LSU’s interim president, Tom Galligan, said four student organizations have been charged with violating the university’s code of conduct regarding the coronavirus. Video has surfaced that appears to show off-campus parties with few precautions in place.
“We have seen the videos, and they are very concerning,” Galligan said, according to KSLA. “We’re going to investigate, communicate and, as necessary, we’ll enforce.”
Galligan also signaled a high level of concern about the virus’s spread.
“I’m concerned and I’m monitoring and we’re looking at it very carefully, because if it keeps going up, we’re going to go remote,” he said, according to KSLA.
The union does not have a collective bargaining agreement with LSU.
— Rick Seltzer
Positive Cases Top 1,000 at the University of Dayton
Sept. 3, 2:43 p.m. The University of Dayton announced this afternoon on its COVID-19 dashboard that the cumulative number of positive cases among students on campus has reached 1,042, including 639 active cases. The rest — 403 students — have recovered.
The private university enrolls roughly 11,500 students, including about 9,000 undergraduates, meaning its total positive cases comprise almost 10 percent of all students. The university's first day of classes was Aug. 24. UD has created five campus status levels for COVID-19, with level five being to largely vacate the campus and have most students leave on-campus housing. The university reached level four last week, which includes pivoting to remote learning while students stay in on-campus housing. It shifted to remote learning last month when cases spiked.
UD in a statement cited a flattening of seven-day averages for new positive cases as an encouraging sign. It said the university has been aggressive with the testing, isolation and quarantining of students.
"University leaders continue to work closely with local public health officials and UD’s panel of local medical experts to monitor, assess and contain the situation on campus," the university said. "We will determine next week what steps to take based on the situation and trends we see at that time. While we hope the trends will indicate that we can return to at least some in-person learning, we also may need to consider further restrictions, including the possibility of moving to fully remote learning, if Public Health believes our campus is contributing to broader community spread."
— Paul Fain
About One-Third of Positive Big Ten Athletes Showed Signs of Myocarditis
Sept. 3, 1:00 p.m. A potentially dangerous inflammation of the heart muscle was detected in about a third of Big Ten Conference athletes who’d tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Centre Daily Times.
Pennsylvania State University's director of athletic medicine, Wayne Sebastianelli, shared the estimate at a State College area school Board of Directors meeting Monday, the newspaper reported. MRI scans showed the athletes in question had myocarditis, an inflammation that can be deadly if not addressed.
“When we looked at our COVID-positive athletes, whether they were symptomatic or not, 30 to roughly 35 percent of their heart muscles [are] inflamed,” Sebastianelli said. “And we really just don’t know what to do with it right now. It’s still very early in the infection. Some of that has led to the Pac-12 and the Big Ten’s decision to sort of put a hiatus on what’s happening.”
The Big Ten and Pac-12 postponed fall sports in August. Both cited uncertainty about college athletes’ health amid coronavirus infections.
But other major football conferences continue to forge ahead with plans to hold modified seasons. That’s led to some pushback, with Nebraska football players filing a lawsuit against the Big Ten. The lawsuit prompted the revelation that the league’s members voted 11 to 3 in favor of postponing the football season. Recently, reports have surfaced that the Big Ten was discussing a season to begin the week of Thanksgiving.
Earlier today, ESPN reported that 21 universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference and Big 12 Conference — the three conferences making up college football’s Power Five that plan to play sports this fall — would not disclose data on COVID-19 cases when asked. Almost half of the 65 institutions across all Power Five conferences declined to share data about positive tests recorded to date.
— Rick Seltzer
Many Colleges Playing Big-Time Football Withhold COVID-19 Numbers
Sept. 3, 12:15 p.m. Twenty-one institutions in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference and Big 12 Conference declined to disclose positive COVID-19 cases among athletes to ESPN, citing federal student privacy laws, the media outlet reported. These three “Power Five” conferences are all preparing to play football games this month.
Of the 65 total Power Five institutions surveyed by ESPN, nearly one-third did not provide information about their coronavirus protocols for athletes in addition to withholding the number of positive tests among athletes, the outlet reported.
— Greta Anderson
Temple Extends Remote Instruction for Rest of Semester
Sept. 3, 9:50 a.m. Four days after announcing a two-week suspension of in-person classes, Temple University in Philadelphia today extended the move for the rest of the fall semester for almost all courses.
Only essential courses — those that require some in-person instruction to meet educational objectives — are not covered by the decision. Temple estimates 95 percent of its courses will be delivered online for the rest of the semester.
Students in university housing who choose to leave by Sept. 13 will receive full refunds of housing and meal plan charges. But students can remain on campus if they want or need to do so.
“We know this is disappointing for the many students and their families who had hoped for an on-campus experience,” said the university’s president, Richard M. Englert, and its provost, JoAnne A. Epps, in a public letter announcing the decision. “Please know that if the data supported a decision to safely continue the fall semester experience on campus, we would have made every effort to do so. Unfortunately, the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are simply too great for our students, faculty, staff and neighboring community.”
Two days ago, Philadelphia’s health commissioner declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Temple. The university’s COVID-19 dashboard listed 212 actives cases as of 1 p.m. yesterday, all among students. All but one were recorded among on-campus students.
Temple began fall classes 10 days ago, Aug. 24.
— Rick Seltzer
Ohio State Reports 882 Positive Cases
Sept. 3, 8:32 a.m. Ohio State University reported 882 positive cases of COVID-19 among students, and 20 positives among employees. Classes began at Ohio State on Aug. 25.
The university has a 3.13 percent positivity rate among students and a 4.3 percent positivity rate average over the last week, according to its dashboard site. But it reported a 9.66 positivity rate for students who live off campus and were tested in the last 24 hours, with a 5.7 percent rate for students who live on campus. The university currently has 462 students in isolation and quarantine.
Ohio State recently suspended 228 students for violating coronavirus-related safety guidelines. And it has threatened to crack down on students who host gatherings of more than 10 people who are not wearing masks or social distancing.
— Paul Fain
30 of 40 Greek Houses at Indiana Are in Quarantine
Sept. 3, 6:27 a.m. Thirty of the 40 Greek houses at Indiana University are under quarantine for COVID-19, The Indianapolis Star reported.
There is an 8.1 percent positive rate among students living in fraternity and sorority housing. Residence halls have a 1.6 percent positive rate.
All communal houses at Indiana have been ordered to suspend activities, except housing and dining.
— Scott Jaschik
NCAA to Furlough All Employees Except Top Executives
Sept. 2, 5:50 p.m. The National Collegiate Athletic Association will furlough 600 employees amid severe budget strains due to the pandemic's impact on college athletics, according to a memo obtained by the Associated Press. The furloughs of three to eight weeks will affect the entire staff of the Indianapolis-based NCAA except for senior executives, the Indianapolis Star reported.
Beginning Sept. 21, all staff members in the NCAA's national office will be furloughed for three weeks, according to the memo. And some employees will be furloughed for up to eight weeks depending on their jobs and the seasonal timing of their duties. USA Today reported in March that Mark Emmert, the NCAA's president, and other top managers were taking pay cuts of 20 percent. That move followed the cancellation of the Division I men's basketball tournament, which generates nearly all of the NCAA's roughly $1.1 billion in typical annual revenue, the newspaper reported.
— Paul Fain
Iowa State Reverses Plan to Play Football Opener in Front of 25,000 Fans
Sept. 2, 3:50 p.m. Iowa State University's announcement Monday that it would let as many as 25,000 fans attend its football season opener Sept. 12 drew both scorn and, as recently as today, support from Iowa's governor, Kim Reynolds, who said at a news briefing Wednesday that "we can do these things safely and responsibly. We can open our schools back up, we can open our colleges back up, we can continue to move forward, but we have to have personal responsibility.”
But the university's athletics department announced today that the game will be played without fans after all.
The statement from the athletics director, Jamie Pollard, didn't exactly embrace the decision, saying that Iowa State president Wendy Wintersteen had reversed the decision "after weighing feedback she has received from the community … Our department has always taken great pride in working hand-in-hand with the university and this situation is no different. We are in this together and will do everything we can to support Dr. Wintersteen and her leadership team in their efforts to lead our institution during very challenging times."
— Doug Lederman
University of Georgia Reports 821 Cases in First Full Week of Classes
Sept. 2, 2:17 p.m. The University of Georgia reported 821 new cases of COVID-19 for the week of Aug. 24-30, bringing the total number of cases reported since Aug. 10 to more than 1,000.
Of the 821 individuals with reported positive tests, 798 were students, 19 were staff members and four were faculty.
The university's surveillance testing program of asymptomatic students turned up 97 positive cases out of 1,810 tests conducted, for an overall positivity rate of 5.4 percent.
University of Georgia president Jere W. Morehead described the rise in positive tests as "concerning" and urged students to take steps to avoid exposure.
"I urge you: continue to wear your masks, maintain your distance from others, make wise decisions, and stay away from social venues where appropriate distancing is impossible to maintain," Morehead said on Twitter. "Resist the temptation to organize or attend a large social gathering. And, for those of you heading out of town over the Labor Day weekend, be very careful and think about the health of everyone around you."
— Elizabeth Redden
University of Kentucky at 760 Cases, Only Testing Greek Life Members
Sept. 2, 12:55 p.m. The health department for Lexington, Ky., has reported that there have been 760 coronavirus cases among students at the University of Kentucky.
The university tested every on-campus student upon arrival, resulting in 254 positive results, and is currently retesting 5,000 members of Greek life organizations.
But it has no current plans to test other students or student populations. University officials have said they are waiting on further data to decide how to proceed, The Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
— Lilah Burke
All-Student Quarantine at Gettysburg
Sept. 2, 7:50 a.m. Gettysburg College announced late Tuesday that all of its students must quarantine in their residence halls through at least the end of the week, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus that has infected 25 of 348 students tested through Tuesday afternoon.
"This interim all-student quarantine allows us to better understand the path of the virus on campus, informed by the results of the remainder of this week’s tests," the dean of students, Julie Ramsey, wrote in a message to the campus. All classes will be remote and students can leave their rooms only to pick up food, use the bathroom or get their COVID-19 test.
Ramsey said college officials would reassess their plan for the rest of the semester at the end of the week.
— Doug Lederman
James Madison Goes Remote in September
Sept. 2, 6:28 a.m. James Madison University announced Tuesday that it is abandoning plans for an in-person semester, instead moving to an online September.
President Jonathan R. Alger wrote to students and faculty members that "We spent the last several months planning to start this year with a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online classes. In the days since students have been back on campus, we have observed their vibrancy, excitement to engage with their faculty, and large-scale adherence to COVID-19 rules and guidance. However, we have also observed troubling public health trends. As a result of a rapid increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in our student population in a short period of time, the university is concerned about capacity in the number of isolation and quarantine spaces we can provide. Protecting the health of our Harrisonburg and Rockingham County community — including students, faculty, staff — is our top priority, and we need to act swiftly to stop the spread as best we can."
Alger continued, "After consultation with the Virginia Department of Health, James Madison University will transition to primarily online learning, with some hybrid instruction for accreditation and licensure requirements, graduate research, and specialized upper-class courses requiring equipment and space, through the month of September."
— Scott Jaschik
COVID-19 'Outbreak' Declared at Temple University
Sept. 1, 4:15 p.m. The Philadelphia health commissioner on Tuesday said there is a COVID-19 “outbreak” at Temple University and told students to “assume everyone around you is infected,” 6ABC reported.
The university reverted to online instruction on Sunday after reporting 103 people on campus had tested positive for the coronavirus. According to contact tracing, the outbreak stemmed from off-campus apartments and small social gatherings, 6ABC reported.
“For any Temple student who is listening to this today, I want to be really clear, and we are asking you to follow this guidance: you should assume that everyone around you is infected,” Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner, said during a press conference Tuesday.
— Greta Anderson
White House Warns Against Sending Infected Students Home
Sept. 1, 3:58 p.m. White House officials are worried college students infected by coronavirus will go back to their home communities and spread the disease. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus coordinator, in a call Monday called on governors to urge college presidents in their states not to send students who test positive for the virus home and to keep them on or near campuses.
Not doing so could lead to another national outbreak, Birx said, according to an aide to one of the governors who was on the call, which included Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Birx cited the University of Wisconsin at Madison as an example. The university has set up housing for students to isolate themselves if they test positive, and for others at high risk of having been exposed to quarantine themselves, so that the rest of campus can continue functioning.
The call was first reported by The Daily Beast. The site quoted Birx as having said, “Sending these individuals back home in their asymptomatic state to spread the virus in their hometown or among their vulnerable households could really recreate what we experienced over the June time frame in the South. So I think every university president should have a plan for not only testing but caring for their students that need to isolate.”
Terry Hartle, the American Council on Education’s senior vice president for government and public affairs, said colleges already are doing what Birx urged. “Any college that brings students back to campus will have a clear plan in place to isolate those who test positive and to provide medical assistance to individuals who need it,” he said. “There is simply no way that a campus would go through the extensive planning related to reopening in the COVID environment — cleaning, testing, tracing and distancing — and fail to ask themselves, ‘How do we isolate and treat students who test positive?’”
— Kery Murakami
With Many Students Quarantined, Colorado College Goes Virtual
Sept. 1, 1:30 p.m. First Colorado College quarantined students in one of its three residence halls for two weeks after a student tested positive for COVID-19. Then the liberal arts college in Colorado Springs had to do the same with its other two residence halls, just as the first residence hall completed its quarantine period.
On Tuesday, college officials conceded that "despite our rigorous testing and response protocols … our earlier plans to bring the rest of our student body to campus … are no longer feasible." The college plans to deliver classes remotely for the rest of 2020 and require all students not in quarantine to leave campus by mid-September.
Colorado is probably best known for its block scheduling plan, which multiple colleges copied this year presuming that it would give them more flexibility to respond to potential COVID-19-required pivots.
The college's COVID-19 dashboard shows only three positive cases (out of 1,111 tests), but it has not been updated since last Wednesday. The dashboard showed about a quarter of its 805 students living on campus as being in either quarantine or isolation, again as of last Wednesday.
— Doug Lederman
Illinois State Records Over 1,000 Cases
Sept. 1, 12:30 p.m. More than 1,000 students have tested positive for COVID-19 at Illinois State University roughly two weeks into the fall semester.
The 1,023 cases the university reported as of Tuesday represent nearly 5 percent of its student body, WGLT reported. The university has conducted about 4,400 tests at three locations on campus since Aug. 17, and its testing positivity rate for the last week is 24 percent.
Illinois State is located in Normal, Ill., which has enacted emergency orders aimed at curbing the spread of infections. One of those orders is a temporary ban on gatherings of more than 10 people near campus. The other in part requires customers at bars and restaurants that serve alcohol to be seated to be served.
University leaders say they have moved 80 percent of classes online, are encouraging faculty and staff members to work remotely if possible, and have de-densified dorms. But Illinois State’s on-campus coronavirus testing is reportedly slower and more expensive than tests being used in large numbers at the state flagship, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Illinois State was forced to change its testing strategy after the federal government redirected testing supplies to nursing homes — a series of events that contributed to university leaders deciding to shift plans toward online classes about a month ago, as the start of the semester neared.
— Rick Seltzer
Sept. 1, 6:39 a.m. Scott Atlas, an adviser to President Trump on the coronavirus, said Monday that college football can be played safely during the pandemic, Click Orlando reported.
He said college football players “are among the most fit people in the universe. They’re very low-risk people.”
“They have testing, they have doctors. This is the best possible healthy environment for the healthiest people. And so to start saying that we can’t have these sports when so many people in the community also depend upon the athletes themselves or their families — this shouldn’t really be a point of controversy,” Atlas said.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences called off the 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns, but other big-time football conferences are playing this fall.
— Scott Jaschik
U of New England Warns Students They May Face Charges
Sept. 1, 6:27 a.m. The University of New England, in Maine, is warning students who attended an off-campus party that they will face disciplinary action, News Center Maine reported.
President James Herbert announced the university's first positive case of COVID-19 and two additional cases among undergraduate students.
Herbert said the cases stemmed from “precisely the situation we have warned students against — a large off-campus gathering without masks and [social] distancing.”
— Scott Jaschik
Students, Employees Hold 'Die-in' at Georgia College
Aug. 28, 12:30 p.m. Students and staff members at Georgia College staged a protest this morning as the public liberal arts college's COVID-19 numbers continue to mount.
The "die-in," which was sponsored by the United Campus Workers of Georgia at GCSU union, featured masked and (mostly) physically distanced students and employees carrying signs such as "I can't teach if I'm dead" and "I won't die for the USG," a reference to the University System of Georgia, of which Georgia College is a part.
UCWGA-GCSU is demanding online learning options for students and instructors, hazard pay, contact tracing, greater diagnostic testing and security from layoffs. The union has said neither testing nor quarantine housing has been provided by the university. Up to a third of students may currently be in quarantine.
College officials, who have issued mild statements and declined to answer numerous questions from Inside Higher Ed reporters as the proportion of students with COVID-19 has hit 8 percent, have said any decisions about the campus's status must be made in consultation with officials from the system and from the state health department. Georgia's governor, Brian Kemp, has generally opposed aggressive efforts to contain the coronavirus.
Georgia College updated its COVID-19 webpage Friday morning to add another 40 student cases from Thursday, pushing its student total to 514 and its campus total to 535. The college has about 7,000 students total, but its on-campus population is lower.
— Doug Lederman
Notre Dame Plans to Restart Undergraduate Classes in Person
Aug. 28, 11:05 a.m. The University of Notre Dame is moving to hold in-person undergraduate classes again in stages starting Wednesday, it announced this morning.
Notre Dame will resume in-person classes after two weeks of remote undergraduate instruction and physical lockdown prompted by spiking COVID-19 infections. The university announced Aug. 18 that it was closing public spaces on campus, restricting access to residence halls and asking students not to come to campus while its leaders reassessed plans amid a rising coronavirus infection rate.
At the time, Notre Dame counted 147 confirmed cases since Aug. 3 out of a total of 927 tests performed. The university only began classes Aug. 10.
When announcing that it plans to resume in-person classes for undergraduates, Notre Dame said that the number of new cases has decreased “substantially.” It cited a positivity rate of 6.3 percent from Aug. 20 through Aug. 25, as well as a positivity rate of less than 1 percent among over 1,200 surveillance tests on “members of the campus community.”
The university’s COVID-19 dashboard shows 12 new positive cases out of 409 total tests on Wednesday, the last day for which data have been posted. In the first three days of this week, it shows 66 new positive cases out of a total of 1,504 tests.
“With these encouraging numbers, we believe we can plan to return to in-person classes and gradually open up the campus,” the university’s president, the Reverend John I. Jenkins, said in a news release.
Two security firms and state troopers have been monitoring off-campus quarantine sites at Notre Dame after students were said to be leaving them in violation of rules, The South Bend Tribune reported yesterday. A Notre Dame spokesman has declined to provide additional information, citing student privacy concerns.
Father Jenkins said he was proud of staff members who have gone “above and beyond their ordinary responsibilities to keep the campus open and safe.” He also stressed those on campus should wear masks, maintain physical distance, wash their hands, complete a daily health check, report for surveillance testing as requested and limit social gatherings to 10 or fewer people.
“The virus dealt us a blow and we stumbled, but we steadied ourselves and now we move on,” Father Jenkins said. “Let us redouble our diligence in observing health protocols and recommit to a semester of learning and growth. Together, we are writing one of the great comebacks in Notre Dame history.”
Colleges across the country have been grappling with the question of how they will decide whether to continue holding in-person classes amid COVID-19 spikes. Relatively few have posted firm guidelines.
The World Health Organization has recommended that governments should not begin reopening until positivity testing rates remain at or below 5 percent for at least 14 days.
— Rick Seltzer
U of Michigan President Sorry for Comparing COVID-19 Testing to HIV Testing
Aug. 28, 6:23 a.m. University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel apologized this week for comparing the COVID-19 pandemic to the HIV epidemic of the 1980s, MLive reported.
Schlissel said during a town hall that testing can give a false sense of security, and “that happened in the HIV epidemic when people got a negative test, and they presented it to their sex partners and spread the disease nonetheless.”
UM’s Queer Advocacy Coalition criticized the statement for reinforcing stereotypes about gay people.
“The analogy I used is not a good or fair one. In using this analogy to make my point, I unintentionally reinforced stereotypes that have been historically and unjustly assigned to the LGBTQIA+ community as well as other communities and persons affected by HIV and AIDS,” Schlissel wrote to the Queer Advocacy Coalition. “Again, for this I apologize, especially as it relates to groups that have been historically maligned and stereotyped. It was not my intention to disparage any community or person affected by HIV and AIDS.”
— Scott Jaschik
U of South Carolina President ‘Will Pull the Plug if I Have To’
Aug. 28, 5:30 a.m. Bob Caslen, president of the University of South Carolina, has ordered the development of a plan to shut down the campus after the number of cases of COVID-19 doubled in a day, to 380, The Post and Courier reported.
“We cannot sustain  new cases a day,” Caslen told faculty and staff. “And I certainly will pull the plug if I have to.”
Many of the cases are from the Greek system. Five houses are under quarantine.
“Was it predictable? Oui. Is it acceptable? Absolutely not,” Caslen said. “We had appealed to students to do the right thing, although we knew realistically what we could expect.”
— Scott Jaschik
Bloomsburg University, Kalamazoo Go All Online for Semester
Aug. 27, 2:52 p.m. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and Kalamazoo College have both announced that all classes will be online for the fall semester.
Bashar W. Hanna, Bloomsburg's president, said that he wanted to offer courses in person. "Unfortunately, the circumstances have changed, and we have seen a concerning trend in positive COVID-19 cases within the BU community. After consultation with my leadership team, the members of our Council of Trustees, and the Office of the Chancellor, I have decided that, effective Monday, August 31, BU will transition to remote learning for all courses in progress," he said.
Jorge G. Gonzalez, president of Kalamazoo, said, "I know that this is a deeply disappointing decision for everyone, especially for those of you looking forward to your first on-campus experience. While faculty and staff across the college are prepared for a return to campus next month, external factors have led us to this difficult decision."
— Scott Jaschik
Cuomo Outlines Remote Learning Thresholds Via Twitter
Aug. 27, 2:45 p.m. New York governor Andrew Cuomo took to Twitter this morning to outline metrics that would trigger remote learning at colleges with coronavirus outbreaks.
"As college students return to campus, schools must be prepared for all possibilities," he wrote. "If a college experiences 100 COVID cases or an outbreak equal to 5 percent of its population (whichever is less) — that college MUST go to remote learning for 2 weeks while the situation is evaluated."
Many of the colleges that have already seen outbreaks this fall have reported case counts much higher than those thresholds.
— Lilah Burke
Georgia College Has 447 Cases, More Than 6% of Student Body
Aug. 26, 3:00 p.m. A total of 447 people — and roughly 440 students — at Georgia College have contracted COVID-19, according to the public liberal arts institution's public dashboard. That is more than 6 percent of its nearly 7,000 students.
Inside Higher Ed's reporting has not revealed any other campus with anywhere near that proportion of COVID-19 positivity among the student body to date.
Officials at the college did not respond to several inquiries from Inside Higher Ed about how many students are in isolation or quarantining, or about the college's plans to restrict in-person events or learning.
— Doug Lederman
Under Pressure, Arizona State Publishes Some COVID-19 Data
Aug. 26, 1:50 p.m. Arizona State University has come under criticism in recent weeks for declining to publish data about the spread of COVID-19 among its 100,000-plus students and employees, citing privacy concerns. On Wednesday, the university responded — partially.
In a message to the campus, President Michael Crow said that the university had test results from 32,729 students and employees and has "161 known positive cases within our community," including students and staff members on and off the campus.
Crow said he knew that there "has been and will continue to be interest in this number," and he committed to "regular updates about our COVID management strategy."
But in response to an inquiry from Inside Higher Ed, an Arizona State spokesman acknowledged via email that the university did not plan to "have a dashboard/website, etc. with a running total. But we will have regular updates on trends — and we will be disclosing case counts in the future updates."
University officials have cited privacy concerns as a reason not to publish COVID-19 case data regularly, but experts have dismissed that as a valid reason not to publish information that is not personally identifiable.
— Doug Lederman
USC Reports 43 Cases, Despite Holding Classes Online
Aug. 25, 8:58 a.m. The University of Southern California resumed classes one week ago, with most of its courses offered online. Residence halls have remained largely closed and the university told students they should not return to Los Angeles for the fall term. Despite these efforts, the university has reported 43 COVID-19 cases among students living in off-campus housing. Over 100 students are now in quarantine due to exposure, according to a memo from Sarah Van Orman, chief health officer for USC Student Health.
"This increase comes despite the continued State and County health guidance that significantly restricts in-person instruction and on-campus activities for universities located in counties that are on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list, including Los Angeles County," Van Orman wrote. "For students who remain on or near campus in shared living arrangements, we strongly advise you to act with caution and strictly follow all guidelines for physical distancing (6 ft.), avoiding gatherings with other outside your home, wearing face coverings around others to protect against respiratory droplets and proceed with high adherence to hand hygiene and frequent surface contact cleaning."
— Lilah Burke
Alabama Reports 531 Cases, 159 at Mizzou, 107 at Iowa
Aug. 25, 7:45 a.m. The University of Alabama on Monday had 531 positive cases of COVID-19 among its students, faculty and staff members, the University of Alabama system reported.
The university's classes began less than a week earlier, on Aug. 19. It reported 310 positive cases among nearly 30,000 students who were tested when they arrived on campus. Those cases were not included in the 531 new ones. The university's isolation space for students with the virus currently is 20 percent occupied, the system said.
In an attempt to tamp down the outbreak, the city of Tuscaloosa, where the university is located, on Monday shut down its bars and bar service at restaurants for two weeks, AL.com reported.
The University of Missouri at Columbia reported 159 active cases of the virus among its students on Monday, the first day of classes at the university.
The University of Iowa also began its in-person classes on Monday. It had 107 self-reported cases among students during the previous week, and four among employees.
Alabama's president, Stuart Bell, did not blame students when addressing the spike in cases.
“Our challenge is not the students,” Bell said, according to AL.com. “Our challenge is the virus and there’s a difference, folks. What we have to do is identify where does the virus thrive and where does the virus spread and how can we work together with our students, with our faculty and with our staff to make sure that we minimize those places, those incidents. It’s not student behavior, OK. It’s how do we have protocols so that we make it to where our students can be successful, and we can minimize the impact of the virus.”
— Paul Fain
Ohio State University Hands Out 228 Interim Suspensions
Aug. 24, 4:03 p.m. Ohio State University has issued 228 interim suspensions to students for violating new coronavirus-related safety guidelines, WSYX/WTTE ABC 6 has reported. The university has threatened consequences for students who host gatherings of more than 10 people, where people are not wearing masks or social distancing.
— Lilah Burke
Cases Spike at Auburn, Bars Shutter in Tuscaloosa
Aug. 24, 3:45 p.m. Auburn University reported 207 new positive cases of COVID-19 from last week, including 202 students and five employees. Those numbers are a fivefold increase from the 41 positives cases reported during the previous week. The university has had 545 total positive cases since March.
Students packed bars in downtown Auburn over the weekend, AL.com reported. And officials now are investigating reports of students not wearing masks or practicing social distancing in the bars. The state of Alabama has a mask mandate in place until the end of the month.
The University of Alabama today declined to release specific numbers of positive cases on campus, according to AL.com. But the University of Alabama system plans to announce those numbers later today.
Cases appear to be spreading in Tuscaloosa, however, where the university is located. And the city today closed bars and suspended bar service at restaurants for two weeks, the site reported, to try to slow the spread of the virus.
“They have made tough decisions, and I appreciate Mayor Walt Maddox and the University of Alabama leadership for tackling a serious problem as quickly as possible,” Kay Ivey, the state's Republican governor, said in a statement.
— Paul Fain
On the First Day of Class for Many, Zoom Is Down
Aug. 24, 10:00 a.m. The academic year is off to a rough start at several institutions.
Zoom, the videoconferencing platform now used by nearly everyone during the age of social distancing, is facing technical difficulties. The company's meetings and video webinar services were partially down since at least 8:51 a.m. Eastern time, according to its status updates site.
The outages are concentrated on the East Coast, according to website that tracks outages of online platforms. By about 11 a.m., service was restored for some users.
Students and faculty members at several universities posted about the disruption on social media, including those at Temple and Widener Universities, Florida State University, et Pennsylvania State University.
A company spokesperson provided the following statement: “We have resolved an issue that caused some users to be unable to start and join Zoom Meetings and Webinars or manage aspects of their account on the Zoom website. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.”
— Madeline St. Amour
University of Iowa Drops Four Sports, Citing Impact of COVID-19
Aug. 21, 4:35 p.m. The University of Iowa announced Friday that it would discontinue four sports teams, citing a nearly $100 million decline in athletics revenue due to the Big Ten Conference's decision to forgo fall competition. As part of a plan to close a deficit of up to $75 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year, Iowa said it would end its varsity programs in men’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s tennis after the current academic year.
President Bruce Harreld said the university considered several factors in addition to cost-cutting in its decision, including Iowa's compliance with federal gender equity requirements and the state of the sports within the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
"We are heartbroken for our student-athletes, coaches and staff," Harreld said. "We also understand how disappointing this is for our letterwinners, alumni, donors and community members who have helped build these programs."
— Doug Lederman
North Carolina State, La Salle Move Undergraduate Classes Online
Aug. 20, 2:41 p.m. North Carolina State University announced Thursday that all undergraduate courses this semester will be online.
Randy Woodson, the chancellor, wrote that "battling the spread of COVID-19 is a challenging endeavor even when everyone is practicing safety measures. Unfortunately, the actions of a few are jeopardizing the health and safety of the larger community. This week we’ve seen a rapidly increasing trend in COVID-19 infections in the NC State community, including the clusters mentioned above. As of today, through our aggressive contact tracing program we have more than 500 students in quarantine and isolation, mostly off campus, who have either tested positive or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. We are also investigating other potential off-campus clusters. To best protect the health and safety of the entire campus community, we are making difficult decisions and implementing the following changes to campus operations."
He said that all undergraduate classes would be online, effective Monday. Currently, a majority of classes are online.
Woodson added that students will be able to stay in residence halls. "We understand how important it is for many of our students, and their families, to have the benefits of an on-campus experience, even at this time of reduced operations. For our residential students who want to continue living on campus and receiving the support it provides, you are welcome to stay — we are not closing on-campus housing," he wrote. "With oversight from dedicated staff and resident advisors, and the continued outstanding cooperation from student residents, we are confident that the spread of the virus can be limited. We’ll continue proactively monitoring the virus with the hope of keeping on-campus housing open throughout the semester. Of course, we’ll change direction if needed in order to protect our students and staff."
La Salle University, in Philadelphia, announced a similar move. However, the university will also close residence halls to most students.
— Scott Jaschik
UConn Evicts Students Who Held Party Without Social Distancing
Aug. 20, 6:30 a.m. The University of Connecticut has evicted students who held a packed party in a residence hall without social distancing or face masks, The Hartford Courant reported. The students became known because video of the party was widely circulated.
The university said the students were "endangering not only their own health and well-being, but that of others."
UConn dean of students Eleanor Daugherty and residential life director Pamela Schipani said in letter to all students that those who were evicted did not represent the entire student body. “Our residential community has demonstrated an admirable commitment to follow universal precautions and keep our community safe. In doing so, they have made considerable sacrifice. We cannot afford the cost to the public health that is associated with inviting students into a room for a late night party,” they wrote. “The vast majority of our students are doing the right thing — but every student needs to do the same.”
— Scott Jaschik
Drexel Pivots to Online, Pitt Extends Remote-Only
Aug. 19, 3:35 p.m. The University of Pittsburgh will extend its period of remote instruction until Sept. 14, Ann E. Cudd, the university's provost and senior vice chancellor, said in a written statement. Pitt began its fall term this week with remote classes and had planned to move to mostly in-person next week. But Cudd said the university made the adjustment today to "allow for completion of staged arrival and shelter-in-place procedures so that all students can start in-person classes at the same time."
Drexel University, located in Philadelphia, will remain closed to undergraduates with its courses remaining remote throughout the fall term.
"We had all hoped to stage our gradual return to campus," John Fry, Drexel's president, said in a statement, "but the shifting nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on other colleges and universities has necessitated a change of course for Drexel."
The University of Notre Dame on Tuesday announced it was suspending in-person classes for two weeks after a spike of COVID-19 cases among students. And Michigan State University told students who had planned to live in residence halls to stay home as the university moved courses that were scheduled for in-person formats to remote ones. Those moves followed the Monday decision by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to go remote and to send undergraduates home after several COVID-19 clusters emerged among students.
— Paul Fain
Warren and Tlaib Question Student Housing Developer Over Reopening Pressure
Aug. 19, 10 a.m. Two progressive members of Congress are probing a student housing developer for pressing universities this spring on the financial ramifications of their fall reopening plans and the possibility they would cut housing occupancy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Rashida Tlaib, both Democrats, yesterday sent a letter to John G. Picerne, the founder and CEO of housing developer and operator Corvias. They requested information about the Rhode Island-based company allegedly “putting profits above public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As first reported in Inside Higher Ed earlier this month, Corvias wrote to public university officials in at least two states in May, telling university leaders the company had not accepted the risk of universities taking “unilateral actions” that would hurt student housing revenue. The company sent nearly identical letters to leaders at the University System of Georgia and Wayne State University in Detroit. Leaders at the Georgia system and many of its campuses where Corvias operates housing have denied any outside influence over their reopening decisions, as have Wayne State leaders.
Warren and Tlaib are asking Corvias to provide several pieces of information by Sept. 1. They include a list of all higher education partners for which the company manages, operates or builds student housing; copies of all written communications between the company and university partners regarding the status of student housing for the upcoming academic year; and information about whether the company has engaged in any legal action or communications telling colleges and universities they cannot reduce student housing occupancy.
Further, the Democrats’ letter asks if Corvias agrees with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's risk assessments for student housing occupancy, what steps it is taking to reduce risks of student housing residences it manages and if the company consulted public health experts or state officials before making arguments about the number of students housed in buildings. They also seek copies of the agreements between the company and universities and details about how those agreements allow for company profits.
“Reports that Corvias has been pushing for a less restricted reopening of on-campus housing that would be inconsistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines raise serious questions about the nature of these partnerships and the private sector influences affecting campuses as they make important public health decisions for the Fall,” Warren and Tlaib wrote.
Their letter also noted that an investigation of privatized housing in the military raised concerns about Corvias.
“It would be troubling if Corvias was once again prioritizing its profits over the health and safety of its residents,” they wrote.
Corvias has not responded to multiple requests for comment since its May letters were first uncovered.
— Rick Seltzer
Positive Cases Spike at Notre Dame
Aug. 18, 2:33 p.m. The University of Notre Dame reported 80 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on its campus today. The university's daily report included 418 new tests, for a positivity rate of roughly 19 percent.
Notre Dame welcomed students back to campus on Aug. 3 for its fall term, which it plans to conclude in late November. The university conducted pre-matriculation virus tests of all undergraduate and graduate students. It found 33 positive cases among those 11,836 tests, for a positivity rate of just 0.28 percent. Since Aug. 3, the university has reported a total of 147 confirmed cases from 927 tests.
Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, is scheduled to "discuss with students the current state of COVID-19 cases at the university" later today.
— Paul Fain
COVID-19 Cluster at Kansas' Bethel College
Aug. 17, 4:25 p.m. Nearly 10 percent of the first roughly 500 students and employees tested for COVID-19 at Bethel College, in Kansas, have the virus, the local health agency and Bethel's president announced Monday.
In a videotaped statement, Jonathan Gering, Bethel’s president, said that “approximately 50” of those tested as they came to campus this week had the virus, including 43 students and seven employees. Those who tested positive were in isolation on the campus, and contact tracing had begun to identify others who had contact with those infected. Some of those identified are already in quarantine, Gering said.
The 43 infected students came from “faraway states and nearby locations as well,” Gering said. They represented a sizable fraction of Bethel’s roughly 500-student enrollment, since only about two-thirds of students had arrived on campus already for Wednesday’s planned first day of classes.
Gering said Bethel would delay the arrival of those students who had not yet come to the campus. “We’ll get you here when it's safe to do so,” he said. Courses will begin online.
He also said that the college had moved to “orange” in its color-coded virus response system, and that students would be discouraged from leaving campus and visitors barred from coming onto campus.
— Doug Lederman
UNC Chapel Hill Pivots to Remote Instruction
Aug. 17, 4:05 p.m. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has announced that all of its undergraduate instruction will be remote, effective Aug. 19 — nine days after the university held its first in-person classes for the fall term.
The university cited a "spate of COVID-19 infection clusters" in making the decision. Three announced clusters last week were in student housing, with a fourth linked to a fraternity. UNC on its COVID-19 dashboard reported 130 new positive student cases in the last week, and five positive cases among employees.
Chapel Hill reported a high and rapidly increasing positivity rate among the nearly 1,000 students it had tested as of this morning.
"In just the past week (Aug. 10-16), we have seen the COVID-19 positivity rate rise from 2.8 percent to 13.6 percent at Campus Health," said Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Chapel Hill's chancellor, and Robert A. Blouin, its executive vice chancellor and provost, wrote to employees.
In addition to shifting its instruction to remote learning, the university said it would continue to "greatly reduce residence hall occupancy," which it said were at 60 percent capacity.
Barbara K. Rimer, dean of UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health, on Monday wrote on her blog that the university should "take an off-ramp and return to remote operations for teaching and learning."
She cited reports of noncompliance with social distancing by students off campus, saying the reopening was not working. "The rationale for taking an off-ramp now is that the number of clusters is growing and soon could become out of control, threatening the health of others on campus and in the community and putting scarce resources at risk," wrote Rimer.
UNC's campus health services reported that 177 students were in isolation Monday, with 349 in quarantine.
"There are no easy answers as the nation navigates through the pandemic. At this point we haven’t received any information that would lead to similar modifications at any of our other universities," Peter Hans, the UNC system's president, said in a written statement. "Whether at Chapel Hill or another institution, students must continue to wear facial coverings and maintain social distancing, as their personal responsibility, particularly in off-campus settings, is critical to the success of this semester and to protect public health."
— Paul Fain
UNC Chapel Hill Faculty Call Emergency Meeting After Fourth COVID Cluster
Aug. 16, 4:41 p.m. The Faculty Executive Committee at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will hold a meeting Monday to discuss the growing number of coronavirus cases after the university reported a fourth cluster of cases on Sunday, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. A cluster is defined as five or more cases in close proximity.
Three of the announced clusters were in student housing complexes, and the fourth was linked to a fraternity.
The chair of the faculty, Mimi Chapman, wrote to the UNC System Board of Governors over the weekend urging it to give UNC Chapel Hill's chancellor authority to make decisions in response to the pandemic.
“We knew there would be positive cases on our campus. But clusters, five or more people that are connected in one place, are a different story,” Chapman wrote. “The presence of clusters should be triggering reconsideration of residential, in-person learning. However, moving to remote instruction cannot be done without your approval.”
Classes began at the Chapel Hill campus last week. The university opened for in-person classes over the objections of the local county health director.
— Elizabeth Redden
UNC Chapel Hill Reports 2 COVID-19 Clusters
Aug. 14, 4:32 p.m. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill informed students, faculty and staff members this afternoon that it has identified two clusters of COVID-19 cases at student housing complexes.
A cluster is five or more cases in close proximity within a single residential hall or dwelling. Those in the clusters “are isolating and receiving medical monitoring,” according to an alert issued this afternoon. Local health officials have been notified, and efforts are under way to identify others who could have been exposed.
“All residents in these living spaces have been provided additional information about these clusters and next steps,” the alert said. “Contact tracing has been initiated with direct communication to anyone determined to have been a close contact with a positive individual. A close contact is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes when either person has not been wearing a face covering. Those identified as a close contact will be notified directly and provided with further guidance.”
The clusters are at the Ehringhaus Community and Granville Towers. Ehringhaus has four-bedroom suites and is heavily skewed toward first-year student residents. Granville Towers are privately managed.
Chapel Hill’s COVID-19 dashboard shows main campus housing occupancy at 60.7 percent as of Monday and Granville Towers occupancy at 76.6 percent.
The university cited the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act when issuing the alert. That act set requirements for disseminating health and safety information on campus. But Chapel Hill does not plan to provide details about individual positive cases, citing privacy considerations and laws.
Chapel Hill held its first day of classes Monday.
— Rick Seltzer
Twenty-Eight COVID-19 Cases at the U. of Tennessee, Knoxville
Aug. 13, 5:30 p.m. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville reported that 20 students and 8 staff members have COVID-19, WATE News reported today. Due to potential exposure, 155 people are self-isolating, officials said. Students started moving into residence halls at the university on Aug. 9.
— Lilah Burke
Medical Advisers to NCAA Discourage Fall Sports Competition
Aug. 13, 1:30 p.m. Several medical experts with key roles in advising the National Collegiate Athletic Association offered discouraging words about fall sports competition in a conference call with reporters Thursday, according to news reports.
"I feel like the Titanic. We have hit the iceberg, and we're trying to make decisions of what time should we have the band play," ESPN quoted Dr. Carlos Del Rio, executive associate dean at Emory University and a member of the NCAA's COVID-19 advisory panel, as saying. "We need to focus on what's important. What's important right now is we need to control this virus. Not having fall sports this year, in controlling this virus, would be to me the No. 1 priority."
Most college sports conferences have opted not to hold intercollegiate competition this fall, but several leagues that play high-profile (and high-dollar) football are planning to play on.
Dr. Colleen Kraft, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Emory and a member of the NCAA panel, said of the leagues planning to compete: "There will be transmissions [of COVID-19], and they will have to stop their games," according to ESPN.
Officials at the Big Ten and the Pac-12, the two leagues in the Power Five football series that have opted not to play this fall, have especially cited concerns about apparently increased incidence of myocarditis, a potentially deadly heart condition, related to COVID-19. The NCAA's chief medical officer, Dr. Brian Hainline, said on the conference call that between 1 and 2 percent of all athletes who've been tested by NCAA members have tested positive for the coronavirus, and that at least a dozen have myocarditis, ESPN reported.
Dr. Kraft said colleges were "playing with fire" regarding myocarditis.
— Doug Lederman
Athletic Departments May Need ‘Extraordinary Support' as Cancellations Hit Revenue
Aug. 13, 12:23 p.m. The recent spate of athletic conference decisions to postpone fall sports means substantial revenue shocks for college athletic departments, and cutting expenses will not always be enough to absorb the blow, according to a new report from Moody's Investors Service.
Because sports are strategically important for universities, Moody's expects universities to provide "extraordinary support" like internal loans in order to stay current on debt payments for athletic facilities. Colleges and universities may tap their financial reserves to close budget gaps tied to the pandemic, the ratings agency said in a report released Thursday morning.
"Athletic expenses have grown significantly in recent years, including certain fixed costs such as debt service, which will impact universities' ability to adjust to the disruption," said Dennis Gephardt, vice president at Moody's, in a statement.
Fall sports cancellations reached a crescendo this week when two of the most important conferences for college football, the Big Ten and the Pac-12, joined many non-Power Five conferences and programs in pulling the plug on fall sports amid COVID-19 concerns. Although the Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference and Big 12 were still hoping to play football, the ramifications of existing cancellations will be felt across higher education.
Football has been the biggest driver of athletic revenue in the sector. Football contributed $5.8 billion in 2018, a whopping 40 percent of the $14.6 billion in total athletic revenue counted by Moody's. Growth in revenue has been driven by media rights like the payments television networks make for the right to broadcast games.
Disappearing ticket sales will also hit revenue. Although some donor support might be expected to offset losses, a significant portion of donor support comes from seating priority programs — donors buying the right to pick seats under certain conditions.
This situation is particularly important because the median athletic department broke even in 2018, meaning a significant number of departments lost money.
Moody's called that year a relatively strong revenue year. Still, more than a third of Division I public universities, 37 percent, reported expenses exceeded revenue that year. The median operating deficit among that group was 3 percent.
Conferences that generate more athletic revenue generally reported better operating performance than others. The financial health of operations varies greatly across athletic conferences.
"Compensation for coaches as well as other athletic support and administrative expenses among NCAA Division I members make up the largest portion of the expense base for a combined 35 percent and will be a focus for expense management efforts in fiscal 2021," Moody's said in its note. "With games canceled, universities will save some money on game day operations and travel expenses."
Athletics requires more capital than other arms of higher education. Median debt-to-operating-revenue was 58 percent for public higher education overall, compared to 66 percent for institutions competing in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. Facility expenses and debt service at Division I public universities drove increases in debt between 2013 and 2018, with debt growing 54 percent in that period to a total of $2.3 billion.
"Given the revenue shocks, many athletic departments will not be able to cover debt service with net revenue from recurring operations, prompting the need to fill the gap from appropriate auxiliary and/or other reserves. In many cases, this is likely to take the form of internal loans that the athletic departments will need to repay the university over time," the Moody's report said.
All of this follows the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments in the spring. Men's basketball accounted for about 15 percent of 2018 athletic revenue across higher education. Women's basketball was 7 percent.
Still to be determined is how the spread of COVID-19 affects sports scheduled for later in the year and how universities balance pressures on athletics against pressures to other parts of their operations.
"Budget difficulties at athletic departments will add to the financial strains facing universities, including a tuition revenue pinch, reduced state funding and incremental expenses to combat the coronavirus," the Moody's report said.
— Rick Seltzer
A survey by Pearson finds that 77 percent of Americans think that reopening colleges and universities is vital to a healthy economy. But 62 percent say colleges and universities are risking the lives of students by reopening in the fall.
Aug. 11, 4:40 p.m. The Pac-12, another "Power Five" conference, quickly followed the Big Ten Conference with a decision to postpone fall sports for the remainder of 2020 at its institutions on the West Coast. The postponement also includes winter sports, which are on hold for the remainder of the year, and the conference will consider playing all sports impacted by the decision in 2021, the Pac-12 said in a release about the decision.
Three Power Five conferences, the Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference, which include the nation's top football programs and gain most from the sport's financial benefits, have not yet announced postponement of the fall sports season and are moving forward with modified schedules as of Aug. 11.
Aug. 11, 3:32 p.m. The Big Ten Conference officially postponed its 2020-21 fall sports season, including football. The decision affects some of the top college football teams in the country and was discouraged by several federal lawmakers on Monday.
Kevin Warren, commissioner of the Big Ten, said in a news release that athletes' mental and physical health was "at the center" of the decision and that the coronavirus posed too many potential medical risks for the season to proceed this fall. Spring competition for football and other fall sports, including cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball, will be considered, the Big Ten said in the statement.
— Greta Anderson
Notre Dame President Apologizes for Photos
Aug. 11, 7:20 a.m. Rev. John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, has apologized for letting several students take photographs of him that were not safe.
"In a few instances, over recent days, I stopped for photos with some of you on the quad," Father Jenkins wrote to students. "While all of the scientific evidence indicates that the risk of transmission is far lower outdoors than indoors, I want to remind you (and myself!) that we should stay at least six feet apart. I recognize that it's not easy, particularly when we are reuniting with such great friends. I am sorry for my poor example, and I am recommitting to do my best. I am confident you will too."
— Scott Jaschik
Financial Aid Applications Lag for Low-Income Students
Aug. 10, 12:45 p.m. Applications for federal and state financial aid for college are a leading indicator of how many students will enroll in and complete a college degree. A University of Michigan study shows that those applications have not increased with the additional need created by the coronavirus pandemic
The study found no increases in Michigan in students filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the Tuition Incentive Program, Michigan's largest state scholarship program for low-income students.
"It is worrying that we haven't seen any aid application expansion, and particularly that the gaps based on race or school income level have widened. FAFSA and TIP completion rates would need to be even higher than normal to keep up with the challenges created by the pandemic," said Kevin Stange, associate professor at the Ford School of Public Policy.
— Scott Jaschik
Report: Big Ten Votes to Cancel Football Season
Aug. 10, 12:06 p.m. University presidents in the Big Ten Conference, one of the NCAA Division I "Power Five" conferences, voted to cancel the 2020 football season, The Detroit Free Press reported. The conference had originally planned for conference-only competition, but has faced increased pressure over the last week from athletes organizing to improve health and safety measures for play amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Other Power Five conferences, which include the country's top college athletics programs, are expected to make announcements about the fall season early this week, ESPN reported. Division II and III leaders decided last week that they would cancel fall athletic championships, and the first conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the Mid-American Conference, postponed fall sports on Aug. 8.
— Greta Anderson