Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana has experienced a spike of COVID-19 cases since reopening its campus. Between August 6 and August 14, they had 29 confirmed cases of the virus, according to Today.
Before they were allowed to return to campus, all students were required to undergo regular health screenings and had to test negative for COVID-19. Though the campus has only been open for two weeks and many safety measures have been taken, the virus has continued to spread.
School officials believe they have determined why so many cases popped up so quickly. They claim the spread originated at a large off-campus party where little social distancing and mask-wearing took place.
Erin Hoffman Harding, the VP of student affairs at the school, spoke out regarding the incident and thanked the students involved for being honest about where they had been and who they had been in contact with.
"(The students involved) indicated individuals at the gathering were both outside and inside, together for some time, not wearing masks, in a crowded space, and drinking. While deeply worried that an event occurred that resulted in positive cases, we are grateful to these students for their candor and cooperation with contact tracers."Hoffman concluded her statement by saying that "the students involved will learn from this situation" and that she hoped "together we can prevent this result from happening again."
University spokesman Paul Browne also spoke candidly about the ongoing spread of the virus. He emphasized that the only way the University will be able to contain COVID-19 and prevent transmission is with the help of the students, according to The South Bend Tribune. He stated that the students must be willing to cooperate by practicing social distancing and wearing masks. Browne went on to explain that all the positive cases have been tied to those who attended the off-campus party and those that they were later in contact with.
Despite the spike in cases, Notre Dame does not intend to shut down in-person classes or send the students back home at this time.
"I don't think it's unrealistic to go into this with confidence we can do a semester successfully without it getting out of control," Browne said.
Notre Dame is experiencing challenges that schools all across the nation are currently facing. The issue of whether or not it is safe to return to school amid the pandemic is a controversial issue. As The Inquisitr previously reported, President Trump has remained adamant that schools need to resume classes on time and in person.