The University of Illinois Chancellor is asking students to limit their actions to the most essential tasks, while blaming student actions for the increase in positive tests on the Urbana-Champaign campus.
University Chancellor Robert Jones sent out an email to students admonishing their behavior after the school recorded 330 new positive tests in 2 days, according to CBS. More than 1,000 students have tested positive for COVID-19 since returning to campus on August 16, the report added.
“The irresponsible, and I might add, dangerous actions of a small number of our students has created the very real possibility of ending an in-person semester for all of us here at Illinois,” Jones wrote in the email, per the report.
Nationwide, universities struggle to limit the spread of the virus, and are cracking down on student gatherings, and “Students who do not comply with campus COVID-19 rules or who fail to follow any instructions from Champaign-Urbana Public Health District will face immediate suspension,” Jones added, according to CBS. (Related:Indiana University Calls For Shutting Down Greek Life Due To Spread Of COVID-19)
Other universities in Illinois are seeing similar spikes in confirmed cases. Illinois State University reported there Thursday that it had identified 68 new cases, according to WGLT, NPR at Illinois State University.
.@IllinoisStateU reported 68 new cases of #COVID19 among its students today, as the county’s testing positivity rate increased again. https://t.co/QG3Xgwx0lS #BloNo #ilstu #highered pic.twitter.com/TrCYJxNiMI
— WGLT (@WGLTNews) September 3, 2020
But top experts are recommending that infected students remain on campus, limiting the reach of universities’ potential responses to the acceleration of cases.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that schools should not send home students with the virus.
“When you send them home, particularly when you’re dealing with a university where people come from multiple different locations, you could be seeding the different places with infection,” Fauci said in an interview on NBC’sToday show.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded 6,132,074 confirmed cases, as of September 4, 2020.