A cluster of coronavirus cases emerging in Oxford, Mississippi are being linked to fraternity rush parties at the University of Mississippi, the state’s health officer said according to NBC News.
The University of Mississippi reported 162 students tested positive for coronavirus since June 1. Mississippi Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said Thursday that many of the coronavirus cases are being linked to fraternity rush parties, where prospective and current members gathered despite the governor’s orders prohibiting indoor gatherings of more than 20 people, NBC News reported.
“We do think they’re at the front end or a mid sort of section of a significant outbreak,” Dobbs reportedly said. “What we’ve identified so far is that it seems to be related to community transmission and social gatherings.” (RELATED: Tampa Bay Mayor Makes Masks Mandatory As Coronavirus Cases Rise)
Most of the cases coming out of the college town are of young people. Of the new cases, 81% are people between the ages of 18 and 24 and 8% are people from out of state.
The University of Mississippi Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life issued a statement after the reports traced the new cases back to rush parties instructing “all fraternity chapters to refrain from hosting recruitment or social events in Oxford or any other cities,” the Oxford Eagle reported.