NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Christopher Newport University is in the middle of its largest wave of COVID-19 cases this school year, and one official puts the blame on students not following rules instead of the return to in-person classes.
As of Wednesday, 129 students and six employees at Christopher Newport had active cases, The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported. On average, 171 students were in quarantine each day last week, or about 3.5% of the student body.
In a letter to students and employees Monday, Kevin Hughes, vice president for student affairs, blamed the rising numbers on students not adopting safety protocols, not in-person classes.
“What is happening on our campus right now is a stark reminder that individual behavior can have a profound and lasting impact,” Hughes wrote. “When you socialize with little concern, and in some cases reckless disregard, for who it hurts, everybody is impacted.”
University leaders say the surge is flattening. According to a statement from spokesperson Jim Hanchett, 56 students will be able to leave isolation by Friday. The number of students isolating has held steady the past few days after a weekend spike.
Most colleges across the state have dozens or hundreds of active cases. More than 20% of cadets at the Virginia Military Institute are in isolation or quarantine.
At William & Mary, cases are also rising sharply. The university reported 79 cases this semester through Tuesday, surpassing last semester’s total in the span of a few weeks.
Some students said the message was condescending and want to see the university take more concrete actions to limit gatherings.