SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The University of Rhode Island (URI) reported its highest number of positive COVID-19 cases this week, but that might be due to the fact they are in the process of testing the entire student body.
The university reported an additional 30 positive cases Wednesday, bringing the school’s total cases to 85 within the past week.
URI President Dr. David Dooley believes the reason for the significant uptick in cases could be because of the mandatory testing that’s underway for students living both on and off campus.
“What we are seeing here is pretty consistent with what other institutions are seeing,” Dooley said.
Dr. Deborah Birx, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, visited the Kingston campus Thursday afternoon and praised the university for its proactive testing of asymptomatic students.
“I think they are on a great momentum to get through all of the students with testing at this university,” Birx said.
Dooley said they plan to test 16,000 students over the course of 10 days.
“Our primary focus is to complete the testing regiment that we are all in,” he said.
A spokesperson for URI confirmed Friday that a Greek house has been ordered to quarantine due to a high number of positive cases, but would not specify which one.
Rumors have been circulating online about a potential curfew for students living on campus. Dooley said while there’s no curfew in place right now, they could potentially implement one down the road.
“It’s something that is under consideration,” he said.
Right now, the Dooley said they’re working on getting the big picture of COVID-19’s impact on the university and will adjust their plans from there.
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