(CBS) – With Growing Concerns Over the spread of the coronavirus in the Greek housing system, Indiana University recommends that all fraternities and sorority houses be closed. More than half of the COVID-19 cases reported in August came from the Greek system.
"IU and its public health experts believe that Greek homes are unsafe given the conditions of the pandemic and the current spread of COVID-19," the university said. As of August 1, a total of 816 students, faculty and staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Mitigation tests since August 24 have revealed 277 cases, mostly asymptomatic, which are included in the total number of cases.
Only in Greek homes, 436 cases have been reported since August 19.
Due to the nature of community life in Greek homes, where there is a high density of residents, shared bathrooms and a number of common spaces to live, sleep and eat, viruses like COVID-19 spread easily, said the college. .
Authorities say positivity rates in some homes are above 50% and many homes are in quarantine. IU does not own the buildings and can only recommend closures.
“Given the structure of the Greek house, it is practically impossible to avoid close contact with residents who may be carrying the virus. The bedrooms are not seeing the level of positivity rates found in Greek houses, ”said the university.
The university said it hopes that national organizations in each house will help students make decisions about alternative living arrangements. IU said she would support the students "to ensure that they can continue their academic journey." The university provides a breakdown of the outbreaks in each house, which can be found here.