The University of South Carolina is urging vigilance after the school recorded more than 1,000 active coronavirus cases among students.
According to a university dashboard, there are currently 1,026 coronavirus cases at the Columbia, S.C., campus as of Thursday, with most of those among students. Another 166 cases have been recorded since Aug. 1 but are no longer considered active.
In a Tuesday letter to school faculty and staff, university President Bob Caslen wrote that “Our total number of active cases is larger than we expected at this point, and some student behavior off campus is both disappointing and unacceptable. We are confronting these realities and taking action.”
Caslen said the university has instituted additional quarantines in Greek life housing, with nine residences in quarantine after students in the houses tested positive for the coronavirus. The university has also issued interim suspensions against 15 students and four student organizations for hosting parties or large gatherings amid the pandemic.
The president added that all student who tested positive for COVID-19 were either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic before their diagnoses. No students have required hospitalization since classes for the fall semester began last month.
The university is offering a combination of online and face-to-face courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, according to the school’s dashboard.
The spread of the virus at the school also comes as the University of Alabama reported that 1,043 students tested positive for COVID-19 between Aug. 19-27. Since the beginning of the year, a total of 1,201 students have tested positive there.
Colleges and universities across the country have grappled with returning to classes as schools adopt in-person, virtual and hybrid models for students.