The University of Washington has seen an outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 on Greek Row. According to a press release from the university, “at least” 105 frat house residents have tested positive for the virus.
The Interfraternity Council confirmed the students were living at frat houses near the University of Washington.
“While we were pleased to see most of the houses had previously taken measures to reduce resident capacity by up to 50 percent this summer in response to COVID-19, those measures are not sufficient without vigilant, daily preventive measures, such as wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and hand hygiene,” UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases chair Dr. Geoffrey Gottlieb had warned earlier in the week.
“If we don’t, measures such as what are now required on Greek Row will be inevitable. My sense is all students want to return to some sense of normalcy, so I urge all of us to follow public health guidelines so we can do just that.”
The school has confirmed 62 frat house residents and another four students have tested positive, while the remainder of the tests have been self-reported.
The coronavirus began spreading from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 128,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.