College classes begin as some schools see increase in COVID-19 cases


NEW YORK (NewsNation) — In just a matter of days, nearly all US colleges and universities will be back in session and like everything else, that’s going to look a lot different this year.

Some classes will be online, some in person and for some schools a combination of the two.

Problems have been popping up nationwide even before a lot of students were back on-campus but on Monday universities across the country are using some creative measures hoping to flatten the curve.

At the University of Pittsburgh, where there are 11 reported COVID-19 cases, administrators have already set up a web portal to let students keep track of where those cases are.

At Penn State University in State College, there have been enough mask-less gatherings and rule-breaking parties to get one fraternity suspended and bring fear that a return to remote-learning is just a matter of time.

It’s a reoccurring theme at schools from coast to coast.

“It’s been really weird, we had class outside, so we all had to sit six feet apart earlier this morning,” said Emma Bailey, senior at Indiana University in Bloomington. “And the campus just seems kind of dead.”

At Indiana University’s Bloomington campus, the semester starts with students being warned to follow a citywide order, limiting parties to 15 people, after officials saw video of a big party last week.

“The school sent out some slightly threatening emails, threatening suspension I would say, everyone is limiting their social gatherings,” said Devin Mackay, Indiana University senior.

Across the country a lot of students are not limiting their social gatherings and thanks to social media, the proof is easy to find. This led to big problems around the University of Alabama.

The city of Tuscaloosa is shutting down bars for the next two weeks after an increase in COVID-19 cases linked to partying students and a lack of social distance.

In Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina has cleared football players to resume workouts, three days after a pause caused by an uptick in coronavirus cases.

In Tampa, staff at the University of South Florida are doing their best to get students where they need to be, complete with regular temperature checks and strict protocols.

In the middle of it all, as schools across the country try to start a new year with at least some virtual learning, students had problems with Zoom, the go to site for teleconferencing on their first day back.

“I really appreciate that they’re putting all this effort in, but I’m not quite sure how long it will last,” said Chloe Slen, senior at Indiana University.

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