SEATTLE (AP) — University of Washington COVID-19 cases among students in more than a dozen sororities and fraternities have topped 200.
As of Thursday morning, 215 positive cases have been confirmed among 15 fraternities and sororities, spokesperson Victor Balta said on the school's website.
That’s up from 179 cases as of Tuesday, and 131 cases on Friday.
According to the UW’s case tracking system, as of Oct. 6, 476 students, 63 staff and 10 faculty have tested positive since Feb. 27.
“The congregant living situation in the Greek community certainly presents a greater challenge and we will continue to work with them to respond effectively and try to limit the spread,” Balta told The Seattle Times.
Students who have tested positive or have COVID-like symptoms are being told to isolate in their current place of residence, according to the university. The university is not aware of any students who have been hospitalized or reported severe symptoms of the virus.
An outbreak in June infected 154 students in 15 fraternity houses at the university.
At a press conference Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee expressed frustration about the behavior on Greek Row “that is exposing all of us to great risk.”
“It has to change,” Inslee said. “They’ve got to step up and take responsibility for this because these things can just blow up, and frankly they are.”
Inslee said his office plans to make it clear that there needs to be leadership from the sororities and fraternities on this issue.
“There will be consequences of we don’t get that leadership,” he said. “This is too deadly to ignore.”
As of this week, there have been nearly 92,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide since the pandemic began, and 2,183 people have died. For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, although long-term effects are unknown. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
AP reporter Rachel La Corte contributed to this report.