SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The University of Rhode Island (URI) has found that more than half of their positive coronavirus cases stem from their Greek life community, 12 News has learned.
Last week, students within the URI Greek community received an email that claims through contact tracing the university found 64% of their positive cases came from Greek life.
“If this rate of infection continues, the university will be forced to take drastic measures to stop the spread of the virus,” the email reads.
The university is asking the Greek life community not hold gatherings or allow anyone inside their houses that does not life there. Members are also asked to wear masks anywhere outside of their personal space and participate in mandatory weekly testing.
“It’s a strong letter, no doubt about it,” URI Assistant Director of Media Relations Dave Lavallee said. “We really want the students to be safe and to continue through the semester successfully. We don’t want to have more extreme measures like sheltering in place and any of the other measures.”
URI hit a record last week with 132 new cases and a positivity rate of just over 2%, according to a letter sent to students and staff.
“If this uptick continues we will look more into that,” Lavallee added. “We know people are tired but we ask that students stay the course.”
In the letter, the university urged all students and staff “recommit” to the school’s COVID-19 safety measures.
Bryant University also announced last week they would be implementing additional safety measures as they see a rise in COVID-19 cases among their students, including giving undergraduate and graduate students the option to take all classes through remotely until March 8.
While Providence College has seen a consistent number of positive cases, beginning Wednesday they are allowing limited in-person student attendance to their outdoor athletic events.