Miami Univ. pushing forward with in-person class start despite more than 1K COVID-19 cases

Miami Univ. pushing forward with in-person class start despite more than 1K COVID-19 cases
Updated: Sep. 9, 2020 at 8:59 AM EDT
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OXFORD, Ohio (FOX19) - Miami University is going forward with its plan to start in-person classes on Sept. 21, the college announced on Wednesday.

This announcement comes despite more than 1,000 students testing positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, according to the school’s online dashboard.

“This decision was made after lengthy consideration of the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff and is an expression of confidence in our campus community and is grounded in our belief that we can still offer a rich campus experience with the proper protocols and measures in place,” Miami University President Gregory Crawford wrote in a letter to students and staff on Wednesday.

Miami University reported 159 new student cases of COVID-19 over the Labor Day weekend for a total of 1,084 total student coronavirus cases as of Monday.

There were three new staff cases reported on Tuesday, bringing the total to five.

The university says it will require all its students to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival on campus, before moving into their dorm.

Miami University says the phased-in plan for students to move into the residence halls will begin on Sept. 14.

With some students choosing to remote learning for the fall semester, the university said the on-campus student population will be reduced by around 40%.

RELATED: ‘Everyone in the house has COVID-19’: Citations issued at off-campus gathering in Oxford (VIDEO) | Miami University sees 375% increase in COVID-19 cases in one week

Butler County continues to rise on the list of the highest occurrence of COVID-19 cases per county.

Last week, Gov. Mike DeWine said that was primarily due to students testing positive after attending house parties.

With 246.1 cases per 100,000 people between Aug. 25 - Sept. 7, Butler County is now No. 2 on the state’s list, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Butler County reported a total of 943 new COVID-19 cases between those dates, the ODH’s data shows.

This is now the second week in a row Butler County has moved up the county-by-county list.

The county went from eighth to fourth on the county list when the previous report was released.

President Crawford joined DeWine at one of his daily coronavirus briefings last week and talked about what the school is doing to combat the surge in cases.

Crawford attributes the problem to students who came back to campus early in August and took part in large gatherings.

He said they have protocols in place and are working hard to flatten the curve and stop the upward trend.

Related | Miami students react to city’s crackdown on large gatherings

The city of Oxford recently passed a law that would fine homeowners if police find a gathering of more than ten people.

The fine would be $500 for the first offense and one thousand for the second.

The university says it will charge students with endangering the public health and safety under the student code of conduct, possibly risking suspension.

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