Cases in Worcester are ticking upward after more than 20 College of the Holy Cross students tested positive for the novel coronavirus in connection to a party held at an off-campus apartment in mid-August, according to officials.
Holy Cross told Boston.com in a statement that while its fall semester is fully remote, officials are continuing to remind off-campus students of the importance behind social distancing guidelines, wearing a mask in public, and slowing the spread of the virus.
Yet earlier this month, college officers responded to a “large party” on College Street where at least one person had COVID-19, many were reportedly maskless or not socially distancing, and the apartment had more people than the limit set by the state’s guidelines.
A spokesman for the city of Worcester told MassLive Saturday afternoon that 21 students who had attended the party recently tested positive for COVID-19.
“Following the party, all our students have been reminded of their responsibilities to each other and to the greater community,” the college said in a statement. “Any student who attended the party has been instructed to get tested and to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Any student who hosts a party will be held accountable under our student conduct policy.”
The college did not specify what consequences a student may face for holding a party, but according to the school’s website, students found responsible for “flagrant noncompliance” will be required to return home and continue accessing their classes remotely.
As of Thursday, Worcester reported an additional 87 positive COVID-19 cases, marking an increase from the week before.
In total, the city has reported 5,803 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases.
City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. told the Telegram & Gazette in a statement this week that the city has been working with Holy Cross to “meet with college officials as soon as possible to discuss strategies to prevent the spread of coronavirus on and off-campus.”