A Greek system council at the University of Washington says 105 people living in fraternity houses near the Seattle campus have coronavirus, the university reports.
About 1,000 Greek system members are living in 25 fraternity houses north of campus, the release says. People in 15 of the houses have self-reported coming down with COVID-19, according to the Interfraternity Council.
“It’s definitely a little nerve-racking,” said Renee Ventura, a University of Washington graduate who lives in the neighborhood, KOMO reported.
“Everyone who I live with is taking extra precautions, we’re all going and getting tested this week,” Ventura said, according to the station. “A lot of people who I know who are living in and around the fraternities are also taking precautions and getting tested.”
Fraternity houses had reduced occupancy by 50% to try to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, according to the university.
But Daniel Leifer, a pediatrician studying dermatology at the university, says he’s seen numerous parties along Greek Row in recent months, The Seattle Times reported.
“I don’t hold it against college students that they’re partying with each other and getting to know each other, because that’s everyone’s college experience,” Leifer said, according to the publication. “It just doesn’t make for a safe campus.”
The university, working with public health agencies, has confirmed 62 cases of coronavirus among fraternity house residents and four more from people affiliated with the fraternities, according to the University of Washington release.
None of the infected students have required hospitalization or suffered severe symptoms, the release says. The outbreak serves as a warning as the university prepares to reopen for classes in the fall, officials said.
“This is another reminder that we have our work cut out for us,” said epidemiology professor Janet Baseman, The Seattle Times reported. “We need to be really prepared, and we have time to prepare because it’s summer right now.”