Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, has dismissed 11 students without a refund after staff discovered them breaking social distancing guidelines when they hosted a party in a campus housing room.
The students were participating in NUin, a study-abroad type program that typically sends first-year students abroad for several months, but the program was modified to have them complete the program one mile from the university’s campus. No refunds will be issued, and according to The Boston Globe, the program costs $36,500 for the semester.
“Northeastern and its community of students, faculty, and staff take violations of health and safety protocols very seriously,” Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice chancellor for student affairs at Northeastern, told the campus news site. “Cooperation and compliance with public health guidelines is absolutely essential. Those people who do not follow the guidelines—including wearing masks, avoiding parties and other gatherings, practicing healthy distancing, washing your hands, and getting tested—are putting everyone else at risk.”
“Testing negative for COVID-19 is not enough,” said Estabrook. “We must practice all of the public health guidelines in order to keep ourselves and the community healthy. Together, we can keep each other safe, but it will require everyone’s consistent cooperation.”
According to the university news site, the NUin program students were previously “formally notified” several times about physical distancing, and they were also required to acknowledge reviewing the ongoing pandemic restrictions as presented to them in the student handbook.
“Students who host an unsafe (no masks and without healthy distancing) gathering, social or party, either on or off-campus can expect suspension,” Estabrook wrote to students in a letter on August 28, reports the news agency. “Students who attend an unsafe gathering, social or party, either on or off-campus, can expect suspension.”
Furthermore, before the 11 dismissed students were allowed to leave the campus, they were required to undergo an additional coronavirus test, which would result in them being quarantined on-campus until they could leave, reports the new agency.
Northeastern University has been pursuing an aggressive coronavirus detection regiment, in which all students and staff on campus are required to submit to frequent mandatory testing. (For example: Students are tested three times per week, and staff or contract workers on-campus more than once a week are tested twice per week.)
Data from the university shows that over 45,504 tests have been conducted, 42,481 have been returned negative, and only 23 have been returned positive, of which 20 were students and three were contract workers or staff members. The 7-day positive coronavirus test average is .06%.
Official daily update: systematic coronavirus testing results 9/3.
Tests Completed: 6,263
Negative Tests: 6,261
Positive Tests: 2
Check back each day for updated results. https://t.co/3arkBgI2HC
— Northeastern U. (@Northeastern) September 5, 2020
According to the Boston Public Health Commission, there were 15,788 total confirmed coronavirus cases in the Boston area as of Friday and 754 deaths. This means the positive cases at Northeastern University consist of roughly .0012% of Boston cases.
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