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University of Richmond warns students against parties amid 'disturbing' uptick of more than 50 COVID-19 cases this month

University of Richmond warns students against parties amid 'disturbing' uptick of more than 50 COVID-19 cases this month

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The University of Richmond sent a letter to students Friday warning that parties and other violations of COVID-19 safety protocols could jeopardize in-person learning this semester.

The university, which has been offering a mix of in-person and fully online classes, has reported 54 positive COVID-19 cases among its faculty, staff and students since the start of its spring semester earlier this month.

Steve Bisese, vice president of student development, said university officials are aware of two parties in the last week, one on campus and another off campus.

There are 35 active cases as of Friday evening, 21 of which involve students who are currently in the Richmond area but are not on campus and have attended class remotely, according to the university.

University officials noted many cases involve students off campus and attending classes online, but that many have been associated with parties and other social gatherings where people did not wear masks.

Bisese said students must continue adhering to health and safety protocols to avoid risking disciplinary action, including removal from campus and suspension.

“It’s disappointing that we must remind some of you that unwavering adherence to our health and safety protocols is the only option,” he said in a letter to students posted on the university’s website.

“More importantly,” he added, not adhering to health safety protocols “could threaten the health of your fellow students — and especially your faculty and the staff who are working so hard to make this semester possible.”

The university reported a total of 138 cases during the fall semester, 99 of which were students.

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