NORTHFIELD, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont university has reported nearly 80 cases of the coronavirus since students returned to campus earlier this month.
Norwich University, the country's oldest private military college, has reported a total of 79 cases, with 69 current cases.
The school has had “some significant, egregious and frankly embarrassing incidents of student misconduct that have resulted in the spread of the virus on campus and our inability to contain it," Norwich President Col. Mark C. Anarumo announced Wednesday evening in a video on the school's website.
He said a containment plan is in place and he believes it will be able recover fairly quickly. Residential students were told on Monday to return to a modified room quarantine.
Anarumo said Wednesday that he believes that the student conduct issues have been resolved.
Any students who do not want to stay at school are allowed to leave and conduct their studies online, he said. There will be a pro-rated rebate of room and board, he said.
In other pandemic news in Vermont:
The hospital in Rutland is restricting visitor access to its inpatient medical oncology unit after five of the unit's staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
Rutland Regional Medical Center announced the restrictions on Wednesday evening and said it's working with the Vermont Department of Health to do contract tracing and expand testing for staff and patients, the Rutland Herald reported.
The infected staff are quarantining at home and will not return to work until medically cleared, the newspaper reported.
The first cases was identified on Friday, when a staff member told supervisors that she had been in community contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, hospital spokesperson Gerianne Smart said told the newspaper.
"COVID-19 is here and in our lives, and contagious, and we all need to do the correct protocols that we have been learning and doing so well for months now, and even with that these kinds of things can happen,” Betsy Hassan, chief nursing officer for the hospital, said in a written statement.
On Thursday, the Vermont Department of Corrections reported three new positive cases of the coronavirus among inmates at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington.
The cases were discovered after outbreak testing was conducted on Tuesday after six staff members at the prison tested positive during routine surveillance testing conducted on Jan. 21.
Last week's surveillance testing also detected a case in a staff member at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield.
The three inmates from the South Burlington prison are now in isolation and their close contacts are in quarantine.
Both the South Burlington and Springfield prisons are on full lockdown as part of an effort to prevent additional spread of the virus.
On Thursday, the Vermont Department of Health reported 132 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to more than 11,520.
There were 59 people in the hospital being treated for COVID-19, including 10 in intensive care.
No new fatalities were reported, leaving the total at 172 people who have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 172.86 new cases per day on Jan. 13 to 129.71 new cases per day on Jan. 27.
The latest average positivity rate in Vermont is 2.05%. State health departments are calculating positivity rate differently across the country, but for Vermont the AP calculates the rate by dividing new cases by test specimens using data from The COVID Tracking Project.
The seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 2.51% on Jan. 13 to 2.05% on Jan. 27.