News, Culture & Society

Coronavirus US: UC Berkeley spike blamed on student parties

UC Berkeley says maskless frat and sorority parties are behind a two-fold rise in coronavirus cases on campus. 

Pictures showing students gathered without face coverings and not social distancing surfaced as the school reported that cases have shot up by 107 per cent since the start of the pandemic. 

Cases at the public college in Berkeley, California have shot up from a total of 23 since the beginning of the outbreak to 47 cases in a week.

Officials are now planning how to safely bring students, staff and faculty back to campus this fall, without the infection rate worsening.  

The school has discussed developing small ‘bubbles’ of 10-12 students living on campus with regular testing so there could still be interaction, but less exposure.

Coronavirus cases at UC Berkeley have increased from 23 at the start of the pandemic to 47 new cases this week. ‘Generally, these infections are directly related to social events where students have not followed basic safety measures,’ officials said in a message to the school community

University of California, Berkeley has been working on a plan to bring back students and staff this fall but officials have said 'at the rate we are seeing increases in cases, it's becoming harder to imagine bringing our campus community back in the way we are envisioning'

University of California, Berkeley has been working on a plan to bring back students and staff this fall but officials have said ‘at the rate we are seeing increases in cases, it’s becoming harder to imagine bringing our campus community back in the way we are envisioning’

‘The majority of these new cases stem from a series of recent parties connected to the CalGreek system, which included students both within the CalGreek community and others, and led to some secondary spread within households and within other smaller gatherings,’ UC Berkeley University Health Services Medical Director, Anna Harte, and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Guy Nicolette, wrote in a message to the campus community on Wednesday. 

‘Generally, these infections are directly related to social events where students have not followed basic safety measures such as physical distancing, wearing face coverings, limiting event size, and gathering outside.’

Berkeley, California was reporting 214 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, an increase of 10 from the day before. The city has a 1.7 percent positivity rate.

Alameda County and the Bay Area, excluding Berkeley, was reporting 7,031 cases and 141 deaths. Cases had increased by 23 and there were two deaths from the previous day. 

It’s as new students prepare to move onto campus from August. 

The university previously announced its intention to increase social interaction while keeping overall exposure dramatically reduced.

For Fall 2020, UC Berkeley announced that it would conduct limited in-person classes while also offering remote learning.

Berkeley, California was reporting 214 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, an increase of 10 from the day before. The city has a 1.7 percent positivity rate

Berkeley, California was reporting 214 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, an increase of 10 from the day before. The city has a 1.7 percent positivity rate

'The majority of these new cases stem from a series of recent parties connected to the CalGreek system,' Health Services Medical Director, Anna Harte, and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Guy Nicolette, wrote in a message

A CalGreek house is pictured

‘The majority of these new cases stem from a series of recent parties connected to the CalGreek system,’  Health Services Medical Director, Anna Harte, and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Guy Nicolette, wrote in a message

UC Berkeley also said it was developing a testing strategy for those living, working or studying on campus and that it would be combined with contact tracing to try to identify outbreaks early.

Plans included designating stairwells as up or down only and offering food services on a to-go basis and restricting use of facilities.

The school is not reduces fees despite the limited access for students. 

‘The increase in cases across the country and locally are a powerful reminder of how contagious this disease is and how quickly the disease can spread,’ the message from officials continued. 

‘You can be asymptomatic and still transmit the infection to others. Continuing to protect ourselves and others by following all public health guidelines is critical.’

They added: ‘The campus is committed to doing all we can to minimize infections and outbreaks of COVID-19 on campus while continuing to further our mission. The success of this depends on all of us doing our part to keep ourselves and our campus community safe and healthy.’

They said that ‘at the rate we are seeing increases in cases, it’s becoming harder to imagine bringing our campus community back in the way we are envisioning’.

But students complained to KPIX that the cost of housing made it difficult for people not to ‘live on top of each other’. 

It comes as President Trump criticizes schools for staying closed.

The school is offering limited access this fall due to the pandemic. It said the success of continuing their mission this fall 'depends on all of us doing our part to keep ourselves and our campus community safe and healthy.' The Sather Tower at UC Berkeley is pictured

The school is offering limited access this fall due to the pandemic. It said the success of continuing their mission this fall ‘depends on all of us doing our part to keep ourselves and our campus community safe and healthy.’ The Sather Tower at UC Berkeley is pictured

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.