Assumption University will be locked down for a week amid an increase of coronavirus cases on campus.
With more than 20% of residential students in isolation or quarantine, the university and the city of Worcester decided that the campus will enter a “shelter-in-place” on Friday.
“Due to the increase of positive COVID-19 cases and number of students in quarantine and isolation, the Worcester Department of Public Health contacted the University to assess the public health situation on campus,” Assumption President Francesco Cesareo wrote to the campus community. “The city and University mutually agreed that a lock-down of campus effective 8 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, October 30 until Friday, November 6, with students sheltering in place, is necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on and off campus.
“The shelter-in-place status will significantly decrease interactions amongst members of the community and the potential spread of the virus,” he added.
Most campus offices will operate remotely, except those that directly serve students. Classes will continue remotely.
All commuter students will be remote for the remainder of the semester.
As of Wednesday, 25 students are isolated on campus, and 93 are in quarantine.
During the shelter-in-place, students may not leave their residence hall, floor or apartment — except for picking up meals, medical emergencies and COVID-19 testing.
If students return home, they are not allowed to return to campus until January.
“At the end of the timeframe of the shelter-in-place, we will reassess the situation with the Worcester Department of Public Health,” the university president wrote.
He later added, “I realize the inconvenience that the shelter-in-place will cause students, faculty and staff, however this mutual decision by the Worcester Department of Public Health and the University is a necessary step to promote the health and safety of the campus and Worcester communities.”