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Outbreak of COVID-19 at the University of Washington’s Greek Row – Daily Mail

At least 171 students living at the University of Washington’s Greek Row test positive for COVID-19 and hundreds of results are still pending ‘after fraternities threw dozens of parties without masks’

  • At least 171 students living on Greek Row at the University of Washington in Seattle have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Thursday
  • University first learned that three fraternity residents had symptoms Saturday
  • By Thursday UW reported 66 students tested positive for the virus
  • The Interfraternity Council said at least 105 students living in 15 fraternity houses self-reported that they tested positive for the virus 
  • University spokeswoman Michelle Ma said more than 800 students have been tested since Monday and the IFC asked fraternities to stop social events 

By Marlene Lenthang For Dailymail.com

Published: | Updated:

At least 171 students living in or near fraternity houses at University of Washington in Seattle have tested positive for the virus, as hundreds of test results are still pending.

The university first learned on Saturday that three fraternity residents had symptoms of COVID-19.

By Thursday the university reported that at least 66 students tested positive for the virus – 62 were fraternity house residents and four were close contacts of the residents but lived elsewhere.

The Interfraternity Council, a student-run governing board, reported that at least 105 students living in 15 fraternity houses have self-reported that they tested positive for the virus. The University is still verifying the status of these cases.

The Greek Row outbreak comes as public health officials in Seattle noticed a spike in cases among young people between the ages of 18 and 20.

The Interfraternity Council have now asked fraternity houses to stop holding social events following the outbreak. 

At least 171 students living in or near fraternity houses at University of Washington in Seattle have tested positive for the virus, as hundreds of test results are still pending. A file image of students at the University of Washington campus above

A view of a frat house at the University of Washington above.  There are currently 1,000 students living in 25 fraternity houses on the north side of the Seattle campus

University spokeswoman Michelle Ma said more than 800 students have been tested since Monday in response to the outbreak rocking the Greek community at the campus. 

There are currently 1,000 students living in 25 fraternity houses on the north side of the Seattle campus. Residents of those houses are being asked to quarantine or self-isolate.

The university says it’ll have an updated case count early next week.

UW Medicine has set up a testing facility on campus within walking distance of the greek houses.

Daniel Leifer, a pediatrician who studies dermatology at UW, said he saw about a dozen parties as he walked through Greek Row in recent months. He recounted seeing students standing close together, not wearing masks, and ignoring coronavirus precautions.

Nurses wait for a patient to arrive for a COVID-19 screening at an appointment-only drive-up clinic set up by the University of Washington Medical Center Northwest Outpatient Medical Center on March 17

‘While we were pleased to see most of the houses had previously taken measures to reduce resident capacity by up to 50% this summer in response to COVID-19, those measures are not sufficient without vigilant, daily preventive measures, such as wearing face coverings, physical distancing and hand hygiene,’ Dr. Geoffrey Gottlieb, chair of the UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, said in response to the outbreak.

Health experts now say the outbreak, along with a spike in cases among student athletes, could be a cautionary tale of what could happen if colleges reopen in the fall.

The University of Washington said this week they hope to reopen in-person classes, but larger lessons will be held virtually. But those reopening plans could change due to the spread.

The University of Washington and Public Health, and Seattle and King Counties are responding to the cluster of cases and their recent contacts.

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