COVID-19 Cluster Cancels in-Person Classes at Holy Cross

The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, is putting a pause on in-person classes and athletic events due to a spike in coronavirus cases

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The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, is canceling all in-person learning and athletic events because of a COVID-19 spike.

Students got the word Friday night.

"There were rumors flying around," said student Shannon Kiniry. "So 5 o'clock hit and the email came out, some of us were thinking it's like the apocalypse all over again, but the email was worded very well and laid it out straight for us. Definitely our hearts stopped for a second."

The university announced there's been more than 40 positive coronavirus cases among students in the last week alone, resulting in more than 130 students being placed into isolation or quarantine.

"It's a little bit overwhelming, but I think that as long as we can follow the guidelines, we can finish out the semester pretty strong," said student Erin Eason.

The school says the numbers are the worst they've been this semester, so all in-person activities are prohibited for the time being.

Students are being told not to gather, inside or outside, unless it's with roommates.

"We cannot allow the actions of a few to ruin things for the many," the school said in a statement. "Across campus, we've seen people in general letting their guards down; gathering in larger numbers, not wearing masks, staying too close together. This must change if we want to remain together through Commencement."

"I think the whole year has been very frustrating," said student Anna Parker. "So it's just another day in the life of COVID, but we'll get through it just like we always do."

Libraries and gyms are closed, and cafeterias are open for grab-and-go only.
Off-campus students are banned from school grounds unless it's for coronavirus testing.

School officials say contact tracing tells them that most cases are the result of outdoor gatherings, and, to a lesser degree, Easter break travel.

"I think this was bound to happen because we got a few days to go home for Easter break, and whenever everyone comes back together, we were kind of expecting a spike so we were prepared for it," said Parker.

Schools officials say all students must take a COVID-19 test Monday or Tuesday, and they'll re-evaluate the situation on Wednesday.

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