IU, Purdue fraternities quarantine; Notre Dame to resume in-person classes

Members of eight Greek houses and students living in two other houses off the Bloomington campus of Indiana University have been ordered to quarantine because of positive COVID-19 tests. Meanwhile, fraternities at Purdue University also are dealing with outbreaks while the University of Notre Dame plans to resume in-person classes next week that were suspended due to a spike in cases.

In Bloomington, IU has directed all of the affected houses, including the Evans Scholars and Christian Student Fellowship houses, to suspend in-person organizational activities, other than dining and housing for live-in members, until at least Sept. 14, the university said in a news release Thursday.

No IU residence halls are included in these measures, the release said. The news release did not include specific numbers but described “an alarming increase of positive tests.”

At Purdue University in West Lafayette, 10 members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon have tested positive and were living in campus housing set aside for isolation, while another 55 members at the off-campus fraternity house were in quarantine and locked down for the first two weeks of the semester, a fraternity official said this week.

Across campus, more than 40 members of a housing cooperative were in quarantine after two members tested positive, an adviser said.

In South Bend, the University of Notre Dame announced in-person classes will resume in stages beginning Wednesday and gradually pick up other campus activities Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John Jenkins, announced the news Friday.

In-person classes for Notre Dame’s 12,000 students began Aug. 10, but eight days into the semester the university moved classes online for two weeks after a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases.

With coronavirus cases declining among students, it was safe to return to in-person classes, Jenkins said in a live-streamed address to students, faculty and staff.

“The virus dealt us a blow and we stumbled, but we steadied ourselves and now we move on,” he said.

During Aug. 20-25, the positivity rate of new cases was 6.3 percent, Jenkins said. Also, more than 1,200 surveillance tests on members of the campus community have been conducted with a less than 1 percent positivity rate, he said.

Students and staff still must wear masks, maintain physical distancing, wash hands and take other precautions, Jenkins said.

“We must do these things if we are to have a safe and successful semester on campus,” he said.

Earlier this week, Notre Dame added security personnel at its COVID-19 quarantine and isolation sites after students were observed leaving the off-campus apartments and hotels in violation of safety protocols, a university spokesman said.

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