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6 Roanoke College students removed after COVID-19 cases connected to off-campus party

6 Roanoke College students removed after COVID-19 cases connected to off-campus party

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Roanoke College.

Roanoke College announced Friday it has removed six students for violating the student conduct code after three positive tests for COVID-19 that may have been related to an off-campus party.

Online classes at the private college in Salem began Wednesday, as students continue to filter into residences in a phased plan the college announced earlier this summer. Classes are supposed to transition to mostly in-person instruction by Sept. 7.

So far four students have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The first was tested Saturday, as students began to move in, and the student had withdrawn from classes before the test result came back, the college said. The other three have been moved to an isolation area on campus. Others who may have been exposed to them are quarantining in their rooms and people they may have been in contact with have been notified, the college said.

College President Michael Maxey and Associate Dean Tom Rambo sent a message to students Friday praising most for wearing masks and maintaining social distance on campus. "But we have serious concerns about student behavior off campus and late at night. This year we cannot let our guard down — at any time," the college officials wrote.

The Roanoke College announcement follows actions by Virginia Tech and Radford University. Tech suspended seven students Thursday after being alerted to large gatherings of students off campus. Radford suspended three students for failure to comply with that university's COVID-19 safety measures.

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