30 new cases of coronavirus identified at URI as school ramps up testing
KINGSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – Positive cases of coronavirus are increasing at the University of Rhode Island as the school is ramping up testing, making it mandatory for every student to take a test within the next two weeks.
On Wednesday, more than 1,600 tests were administered, and 30 of those tests came back positive for COVID-19. That brings the total to 100 positive cases at URI since September 30.
“It’s been a month since we started classes, and, you know, I think we’re doing very well. Our positivity rate is at 2%,” said URI spokesperson David Lavallee.
Since September 30, URI has tested more than 4,200 people. The school announced this week that testing would be mandatory for all students.
“We’re testing all of our students now, and so we’re going to see more activity, both in terms of numbers of tests and more positive cases. But we’re doing that so we can kind of get a handle on what’s happening with our student population.”
Lavallee said, while most students are following the rules, some aren’t. They’ve had some issues with large gatherings on campus. As for off-campus students, Lavallee said they aren’t aware of any large parties going on since the start of the semester.
“We’ve done some ridealongs with police in Narragansett and generally we found really very little activity where we’ve seen lots of cars in a particular area,” Lavallee said. “Some of our concern has been off-campus because we have students who are in these houses, and they’re perfectly fine, 4 to 5 people, but the problem is they go to another house, and then that same group goes to another house.”
URI isn’t afraid to discipline those who aren’t doing the right thing, he said. They’re hoping to make it to Thanksgiving break without an outbreak.
“We’re very, very serious about getting to Thanksgiving break, and so our message is, you know, if you’re not gonna play by the rules, we’re gonna take drastic action. If you want to end your semester early, if you want to lose the beauty of the campus in the fall, then don’t follow the rules, you know, cause we will have virus spread and then everybody will be disappointed.”
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