At Indiana University Bloomington, county health officials ordered 30 sorority and fraternity houses to quarantine last week following what campus officials have described as an “alarming increase” of positive Covid-19 tests within the houses.
The school directed Greek houses to suspend all in-person activities until at least September 14. It’s also recommending students in sorority and fraternity houses reevaluate their living situations due to the cluster outbreaks.
“IU’s team of public health experts is extremely concerned that Greek houses are seeing uncontrolled spread of Covid-19,” the university said in a statement. “This poses a significant risk to the nearly 2,600 students currently living in Greek or other communal housing organizations, as well as to the other 42,000 IU Bloomington students, the campus’s 12,000 faculty and staff, and the surrounding community.”
“We’ve reached the point where we need to quickly flatten the curve of infection, or we will lose the opportunity to have campus open to students this semester, which we know many students truly want,” Blank wrote.
Some of the highest number of cases are at Miami University, University of South Carolina, Ohio State University and East Carolina University, all of which have over 1,000 confirmed cases. University of Missouri has 862 confirmed cases while Missouri State University at 791, a CNN tally shows.
While most students will likely recover, health experts have expressed concern that young people would spread the virus to the more vulnerable in their communities.
US may have hit 6.4M coronavirus cases in April
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US was greatly undercounted mostly due to a lack of testing, a new study shows.
The case tally in the US does not “capture the total burden of the pandemic” because testing has been restricted to those with moderate to severe symptoms due to limited availability, according to researchers at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health.
“We know that in the US, earlier on in the epidemic, the people who were getting tested had moderate to severe symptoms,” said Jade Benjamin-Chung, one of the study’s co-authors and a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Berkeley Public Health. “And we know that since then, we have a larger number of asymptomatic people who are affecting the total number of infections but may not be included in confirmed case counts.”
The findings support previous statements by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicate the number of cases in the country is far greater than thought. In June, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said testing likely missed 90% or so of cases.
Doctor expresses fury about ‘misinformation’
A doctor is expressing his fury over revelations that President Donald Trump downplayed the deadly threat from coronavirus early in the pandemic.
In a series of interviews, Trump told investigative reporter Bob Woodward that he downplayed the danger because he didn’t want people to panic.
Frontline worker Dr. Craig Spencer, the director of Global Health in ER Medicine at NY-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, expressed his anger at the revelation.
“I’m furious because you want to talk about panic and wanting to reduce panic — I think of the panic of every single family I called on FaceTime to let them know their family member was dying or had died,” Spencer told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “And I think about that multiplied by 190,000 times around this country.”
Spencer, an Ebola survivor, worked in the trenches in New York City when as many as 800 people a day were dying from Covid-19 in the city last spring.
“As a frontline provider, I’m furious because many of those steps didn’t need to happen if we took the steps earlier on and got prepared like we needed to, and the President clearly knew we needed to,” Spencer said. “As a public health official, I’m furious because this is just another instance from the outset from a President who has undermined public health professionals, has contradicted our messaging.”
It’s “almost impossible” for health professionals to keep up with and correct the President’s misinformation, he said.
CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.