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COVID-19 caution at Notre Dame for first day of class

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 6:25 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -

Monday is the first day of class for students at the University of Notre Dame. Students are starting the new school year as a deadly pandemic continues on.

Students are coming in from all over the country, so what is the university doing to keep students, faculty and all of Michiana safe?

“Notre Dame serves really a national and international student student body,” Dr. Mark Fox says. He’s the Deputy Health Officer for the St. Joseph County Health Department. ”One of the risks is people coming from hot spots areas from across the country.”

Notre Dame is minimizing the risk. They were looking ahead before students rolled-in.

“Students got tested in their home community a week or 10 days ago and anyone who tested positive can’t come on campus until they’re medically clear,” Dr. Fox says.

In total Notre Dame tested all 12,000 or so students and less than 1% tested positive.

“Thirty-three tested positive,” Paul Browne says. He is the Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications for Notre Dame. “So we’re pleased with those results. Father John wanted to do that so we were confident that the students returning didn’t pose a threat to the South Bend community.”

The university tells 16 News Now that classrooms have been rearranged to physical distance, masks are required, and thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer are all around campus. Now that the students are back in town, cutting back on those college customs is what will keep COVID-19 away.

”Whether it’s going to a restaurant or a bar or going to a party or something like that. So it’s the off-campus behavior that will have a big impact on how Notre Dame weathers COVID during these first few weeks,” Dr Fox says.

If a student does test positive there are facilities here on campus where they will be able to quarantine and stay away from other students and faculty.

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