Notre Dame cancels in-person classes for 2 weeks following rapid spread of the coronavirus — but football will go on

  • The University of Notre Dame announced Tuesday that it was suspending in-person classes for two weeks.
  • The announcement came after 147 students tested positive for COVID-19, including 80 on Monday alone.
  • "The virus is a formidable foe," Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins said Tuesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. "For the past week, it has been winning."
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When students returned to the University of Notre Dame campus just over a week ago, 33 tested positive for the coronavirus. That number is now 147, with an additional 80 positive cases reported on Monday alone, a surge that has led the school to cancel in-person classes for at least the next weeks.

"The virus is a formidable foe," Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins said Tuesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. "For the past week, it has been winning."

Since they returned to the Indiana campus, 16% of students who have been tested have had their results come back positive for COVID-19, The Journal reported. As a result, the school is shifting to online learning, where classes may remain if the outbreak is not contained. In the meantime, students who live on campus will be barred from convening in public spaces and be limited to gatherings of 10 people.

Athletics, including the school's famed football program, will not be affected, ESPN reported. But that could change: if the school sends students home, it will send student-athletes home as well. The next 14 days will help decide if that happens.

"Our contact-tracing analysis indicates that most infections are coming from off-campus gatherings," Jenkins said Tuesday, per ESPN. "Students infected at those gathering passed it on to others, who in turn have passed the virus on to others, resulting in the positive cases we have seen."

Other colleges that have considered experimenting with in-person learning during a pandemic have already thrown in the towel. Michigan State University, for example, announced Tuesday that it was going all online for the fall semester, per the Detroit Free Press, as "it is unlikely we can prevent widespread transmission of COVID-19 between students if our undergraduates return to campus," President Samuel Stanley told students.

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