More Than 20 Coronavirus Cases Tied to College Party in Worcester

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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More than 20 College of the Holy Cross students have tested positive for the coronavirus after attending an off-campus party in Worcester, Massachusetts.

A spokesperson for the college said students who hold parties will be held accountable. The party was held off campus in mid-August.

Officials initially confirmed one COVID-19 case was tied to the party but added that results were pending on several other potential cases. Holy Cross told students who attended the party to immediately get tested and quarantine for 14 days.

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.

Neighbor Frances 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."

A coronavirus case has been tied to an off-campus party at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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.”

Holy Cross is among dozens of New England colleges welcoming students back to school this month and next. The school is hosting a remote fall semester, but some students are living on campus.

In Rhode Island, 17 Providence College students have been suspended for violating the school's code of conduct about the pandemic. Rev. Kenneth Sicard, the college's president, described the students' actions as "selfish behavior.'' He added that more sanctions could be imposed by the college.

"We have emphasized strongly that actions that endanger themselves and others during this pandemic will not be tolerated at Providence College,'' Sicard wrote.

And in Maine, there are nine active cases of COVID-19 at University of Maine System campuses, a spokesperson for the system said Sunday. All of the individuals are in isolation, the spokesman said. The cases involve students and employees. The cases are at the main University of Maine campus in Orono as well as University of Maine Farmington, University of Southern Maine and University of Maine School of Law.

NBC10 Boston and the Associated Press
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