Roger Williams University investigates coronavirus cluster

BRISTOL, R.I. (AP) — Roger Williams University has closed one building and moved some classes online in response to a cluster of positive coronavirus tests, but said in a message to students that some of the positives could be tied to research on the virus, rather than actual infections.

The school in Bristol had 23 new cases over a period of a few days last week, the most since it reopened, The Providence Journal reported Tuesday.

Twenty of the new cases were tied to the Marine and Natural Sciences building. Some courses taught in that building are going to remote instruction, while others are being taught in different buildings, the university said.

There is research underway in the building related to identifying, containing and stopping the spread of COVID-19, chief of staff Brian Williams said. The lab materials used in this research mimic the virus, but aren’t the virus itself, and can trigger a positive test, Williams said.

Some of the people who tested positive were re-tested, and came back negative. They are still in quarantine.

Of the 23 new cases, 18 were students and five were faculty, he said.

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