USC Fraternity Row Sees COVID-19 Breakout Infect 40 People

The University of Southern California is dealing with a coronavirus breakout on fraternity row. According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, at least 40 people on fraternity row have been infected with COVID-19.

While the number is problematic, chief student health officer Sarah Van Orman says most of the cases are stemming from four frat houses.

“A significant number of the cases were associated with four fraternity houses,” Van Orman said. “Unless all of us understand that right now our only tools are physical distancing and wearing masks, we’re going to continue to have devastation, not only in terms of the economy, our learning, our academics, our jobs, but people dying.

“Each of us have to decide what we stand for. Frats need to do that as well.”

A total of approximately 150 USC students and employees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus so far.

This is just one small example of the tough task ahead for colleges and universities across the country as students begin to return to campus — if in-person schooling is allowed. The cases will come, so everyone needs to be prepared to respond in a responsible manner.

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The coronavirus mainly comes 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 4.4 confirmed cases and 152,000 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.

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