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Notre Dame goes online, other changes after spike in COVID cases

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 6:20 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Notre Dame is going to remote learning for at least the next two weeks, after 80 new coronavirus cases were reported Tuesday.

President Father John Jenkins announced this decision to students Tuesday evening in an effort to keep students on campus.

“The spike in cases is very serious, and we must take serious steps to address it. The objective of these temporary restrictions is to contain the spread of the virus so that we can get back in-person instruction. If these steps are not successful, we will have to send students home,” Father Jenkins said.

At last check, 147 people have tested positive so far.

Undergraduate classes will go remote for the next two weeks, with on-campus students allowed to stay.

However, there will be new restrictions to help contain the virus.

From now on, public spaces on campus will be closed, and residence halls will be restricted to those who live in them.

Off-campus students are asked to not come to campus.

The previous group gathering limit set at 20 people is now cut in half to 10.

Father Jenkins added from the contact tracing information that most of the cases were coming from off-campus infections.

“So coming back after six months, seven months of no school and seeing all your friends again, it’s going to be hard to not want to go give someone a hand shake or a hug...A lot of students have been speaking out in saying like ‘Wear a mask! Social distance. Don’t host any gatherings. Don’t go to any gatherings. So I think there has been a big movement about that, about shaping up,” said student Mark Miyashiro.

During the virtual address, Jenkins said to report unsafe activity before or after it occurs.

“Serious or persistent failure to comply with health protocols will be handled as a disciplinary matter of students...The virus is a formidable foe. For the past week it has been winning. Let us, as the Fighting Irish, join together to contain it,” Jenkins said.

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