By KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Auburn University said a number of students are quarantined after four COVID-19 cases were reported in a campus residence hall and a fraternity house, a university spokesman said Wednesday.
“Auburn is aware of multiple students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in a campus residence hall and a fraternity house. The university has taken immediate action to quarantine the impacted students and is going above and beyond all guidance from public health officials,” spokesman Preston Sparks wrote in an email to The Associated Press. Sparks in a follow-up email said it involved four COVID-19 cases.
The school did not name the fraternity or dorm. The university said that 32 students and eight employees tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
Sparks said the students will remain quarantined until each has received medical clearance. The students will complete coursework remotely while quarantined.
Auburn has about 30,000 students on its main campus. The university is requiring face coverings, both indoors and outdoors on campus, and has taken other steps to try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Although health officials have recently expressed optimism about a drop in COVID-19 numbers, including hospitalizations, there has also been concern that outbreaks could occur on college campuses.
Auburn’s athletic department on Wednesday announced that it will limit stadium capacity to 20% for the start of the upcoming football season, giving ticket priority to students and premium seat holders.
Images of large crowds near the campus of University of Alabama on Sunday prompted city and university officials to plead for cooperation with social distancing and mask wearing.
“If you don’t want to protect yourself and you don’t want to protect your family and you don’t want to protect your friends and thousands of jobs, maybe just maybe you would want to protect the football season so we can have it this fall,” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said Monday.
Since the pandemic began, more than 100,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1,800 have died in the stater, according to numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.