Monmouth University has cancelled all in-person classes and sporting events after confirming more than 300 positive coronavirus cases.
School officials blame an off-campus “super-spreader” event for the recent spike -- and more than a third of the newest cases.
Of the 319 confirmed cases, 183 involved students living on the West Long Branch campus, 131 off-campus students and five university employees, according to Monmouth's online dashboard tracker.
“It appears that this increase in cases among students was tied to an off-campus event hosted two weeks ago,” Monmouth University President Patrick Leahy told students in an update to the two-week shutdown that includes sports. “An overwhelming majority of the recent cases we have seen can be traced back to this isolated super-spreader event."
The event spawned 125 positive Covid-19 cases among the university's 5,700 pupils, Monmouth spokeswoman Tara Peters told NBC News.
Before the outbreak, about two-thirds of fall classes were online, about a 10th were in-person and the rest were hybrid online/in-person, Peters said. Now all instruction is remote.
The online dashboard COVID-19 tracker shows the university has confirmed 319 positive cases as of Monday — up from 10 confirmed positive cases three weeks ago. Of those, 96 were labeled active cases where the infected students and staff are in enforced 10-day isolation.
“Moving forward, we will need 100% cooperation from our campus community in order to resume our fall semester as planned,” Leahy wrote.
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