Majority of Americans say houses of worship should follow social distancing guidelines
More than 100 Seattle students living in frat houses test positive for coronavirus
More than 100 students living in fraternity houses near the University of Washington campus have reported testing positive for coronavirus, with hundreds of tests from other residents still pending.
At least 105 residents living in 15 different fraternity houses have tested positive, according to the Interfraternity Council, a student-led governing body for fraternities at the university.
University spokesperson Michelle Ma confirmed to The Hill that the university learned Saturday that some residents of the houses had coronavirus symptoms. She said over 1,200 students have been tested since Monday.
The university has verified at least 89 cases of COVID-19 among the fraternity house residents, in addition to four other students who do not live into the houses but came into contact with residents, according to a Friday statement.
The university has verified at least 62 cases of COVID-19 among the fraternity house residents, in addition to four other students who do not live into the houses but came into contact with residents, according to a Thursday statement.
The Interfraternity Council has called on the fraternities to stop holding events. Daniel Leifer, a pediatrician who is studying dermatology at the university, estimated that he has seen a dozen parties with students not practicing social distancing or wearing masks in recent months, KIRO TV reported.
The news comes as university administrators across the country weigh allowing students to return to campuses in the fall. College football players and other student athletes returning to campuses over the summer to begin practices and workouts have reported positive COVID-19 cases in Kansas, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina and elsewhere.
Public health officials have found that the rising number of COVID-19 cases in states across the county are due in part to greater populations of younger people contracting the virus. Officials have cited young adults being more likely to hold front-line service jobs and, in some cases, ignore social distancing and other health measures.
Erik Johnson, president of the Interfraternity Council, said in a statement to The Hill that the organization is continuing to work with the university's Department for Environmental Health and Safety and King County Public Health.
"We are continuing to monitor and react to the situation as it develops, but thanks to nearly full testing of all residents in the UW Greek Community we believe the steps taken to mitigate further spread of COVID-19 in our community have been effective over the past week," Johnson said.
Updated: 5:32 p.m.; 7:40 p.m.