The University of Mississippi and the Mississippi University for Woman have both reported outbreaks of COVID-19.
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs reported the outbreaks Wednesday during Gov. Tate Reeves live news conference.
Earlier Wednesday, MUW said that four students tested positive for COVID-19 this week. “Out of an abundance of caution,” juniors in its nursing program have shifted to remote learning for 14 days to meet classroom physical distancing measures, the university said in a statement.
The four students were asymptomatic and identified as close contacts by family members or friends who live off campus. Based on information available to university officials, there is no internal community spread on campus.
The four students who tested positive are isolating for 14 days off campus. Additionally, the other 71 students in the classroom were also notified to quarantine for 14 days.
“Our contact tracing measures went into effect immediately and we were able to identify other students and individuals who were in contact with these students,” said MUW President Nora Miller. “We are working closely with local and state health officials for guidance to ensure the continued safety of our students, faculty and staff. The health and well-being of our campus community remain a top priority.”
The University of Mississippi sent an email to students saying 14 people — 13 students and one employee — had tested positive for COVID-19 on campus, WJTV reports. Of the 13 students, 11 were on the same sports team. Testing results on other students are pending.
The W and Ole Miss join numerous colleges and universities across the country reporting outbreaks since the start of the fall semester. Many of the outbreaks have been linked to fraternity and sorority events and off-campus parties.
As a result, some colleges are moving exclusively to online classes. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill moved all of its undergraduate classes online after an outbreak, and the University of Notre Dame is moving classes online for at least two weeks.
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the University of Alabama, students lined up to get into bars, drawing harsh criticism Sunday from the school’s athletic director Greg Byrne.
“Who wants college sports this fall??” Byrne asked in a tweet, and then answered his question with, “Obviously not these people!!”
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Who wants college sports this fall?? 🏈⚽️🏐🏃🏼♀️🏃🏿
Obviously not these people!! 🤦🏼♂️
We’ve got to do better than this for each other and our campus community. Please wear your masks!😷 pic.twitter.com/OAFocYZwin
— Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne) August 16, 2020