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Virginia Tech asks fraternity to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure

Virginia Tech asks fraternity to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure

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Virginia Tech has asked all members of a fraternity to self-quarantine for 14 days after some members may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The university learned earlier this week that members of Delta Sigma Phi could have been exposed, Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski said Friday in an email.

Tech has not disciplined any students in the case, he said.

“It is critically important that students who have symptoms, or believe that may have contracted COVID-19, inform university health professionals. This is what allows for good health counseling, testing, and contract tracing to prevent the inadvertent spread of the virus,” Owczarski wrote. “Virginia Tech does not punish students by retroactively investigating how they contracted COVID-19. This would be counterproductive. We do, however, use our conduct process to address dangerous behavior that creates conditions to spread of the virus. Our overarching goal is public health.”

The Kappa Delta Chapter of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity had 136 members in the spring, according to a university webpage. Owczarski did not immediately have information on the chapter’s current membership numbers.

Owczarski did not say how the members may have been exposed. The fraternity has off-campus housing, according to university online information.

Tech has suspended more than seven students after receiving reports of off-campus parties and violations of public health guidelines.

The university has not said that it has suspended any student organizations for similar reasons.

Radford University on Thursday announced it had suspended the Theta Chi fraternity-Iota Zeta Chapter, as well as eight students, for violations of public health guidelines, including hosting off-campus gatherings.

Colleges nationwide have put in-person classes on hold after seeing spikes of COVID-19 cases largely traced to off-campus parties.

Bluefield College, a small Christian college in Tazewell County, reverted to online courses for two days last week after 19 football players tested positive for COVID-19. The college said the cases originated at “a social gathering” in Radford.

The city of Radford has seen cases spike from 107 last Saturday to 282 on Friday, according to Virginia Department of Health data.

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