Holy Cross Off-Campus Party Tied to at Least 1 Coronavirus Case

There were more than 25 students at the party, officials said, exceeding the state limit for indoor gatherings, and students weren't wearing masks or social distancing

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At least one case of coronavirus has been linked to an off-campus party at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, according to officials -- and results are pending on several other potential cases.

College safety officers broke up the party Saturday night at an off-campus apartment rented by Holy Cross students.

There were more than 25 people at the party, according to officials, which exceeds the state limit for gatherings indoors. Party-goers were not wearing masks, nor adhering to physical distance guidelines, the officials said.

"I said this is ridiculous, so I put in a complaint,” neighbor Frances Fitzpatrick said on Thursday.

Fitzpatrick said she called the police when the party was still going at 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

"That was very dangerous, what those kids did," Fitzpatrick said. "They're young, they don't take things seriously."

Holy Cross has told students who attended the party to immediately get tested and quarantine for 14 days.

The behavior violates the Holy Cross Community Commitment, college officials said, which students acknowledged and agreed to in July. The students responsible for the party will be held accountable under the school’s Community Standards process, they added.

In its letter to students, Holy Cross wrote: “We will not be able to welcome back the entire campus community, or even a larger cohort than we have this fall, if students cannot demonstrate the self-discipline, mutual respect, and care for others by following requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The letter was frustrating to read for students who have been following the rules, like senior Ben Tayag.

"We've been here all summer, and we've just been sitting in the house and going to the grocery store and doing all that but not really gathering with the other students," Tayag said.

The college semester, which will begin remotely, has not yet started.

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