UND says students shouldn’t leave campus during holiday break to help prevent spread of COVID-19

The university plans to hold a testing event every week throughout the semester or at least until a vaccine is available
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 6:33 PM CDT
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Ian Winkler is starting off his freshman year at the University of North Dakota during a pandemic.

“I think the university is doing a good job but in certain areas more can be done,” Winkler said of the UND’s COVID-19 response.

Yet, Winkler added that he wishes UND would enforce its COVID-19 policies.

“We’re supposed to keep our distance from each other and wear masks inside and things like that,” Winkler said.”I have seen people wearing the mask incorrectly or standing too close to each other.”

UND addressed his concern and others during a virtual student town hall on Tuesday.

“When there’s violations that relate to covid that impacts the code of student life, we will pursue those,” UND President Dr. Andrew Armacost said. “We will pursue them aggressively and fairly.”

Dr. Armacost asked students not to leave campus during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“The impact on a large number of others is huge. Take care of yourself, get tested, and when you’re expected to isolate do so,” Dr. Armacost said.

The university also debunked several rumors during its town hall. One that classes would go remotely once students returned from the holiday break. The other was that most of the novel coronavirus cases on campus were spread at parties hosted by Greek houses. Both are untrue, according to the school.

Armacost said faculty are being given discretion on whether classes should go remotely

According to UND, 45 percent of those who test positive for COVID-19 don’t show symptoms.

“One of the only things that you can do during quarantine that’s okay is go get tested,” Cara Halgren, UND VP of Student Affairs, said.

The university acknowledged during its town hall that it has received some push back for publicly identifying greek houses, as currently 15 out of 20 are under quarantine.

“We recognize that if you wear Greek letters that you are attached to that chapter. That chapter though at the University of North Dakota has a physical address,” Halgren said.

All it takes is one person to test positive to put a whole house under quarantine.

UND administrators also said they plan to hold a testing event every week throughout the semester or at least until a vaccine is available

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