Towson University in Baltimore County, Maryland is temporarily moving to online classes after 55 people tested positive for Covid-19 on campus over two days last week, the university said Saturday.
Of 627 tests conducted between Wednesday, August 19, and Thursday, August 20, 55 came back positive on Saturday, Towson said. That equates to a 8.8% positivity rate, above the generally recommended guideline of 5% or lower.
Among all tests taken over the past two weeks, Towson’s positivity rate is 1.63%, the university said.
Towson requires a negative test for all students, faculty, staff and contract workers prior to coming to campus. None of the 55 people who tested positive are currently on campus, the university said.
Given the positive tests, the university moved all classes online through August 30 and canceled in-person activities on campus for the week. Move-in for residential students is temporarily suspended starting Monday, the university said.
“The temporary move to fully remote learning is critical for the continued health and safety of our community, which remains TU’s top priority. These actions are being taken out of caution and concern for all students, faculty and staff,” the university said.
Towson is one of a number of college and universities across the country that have seen significant number of coronavirus cases since reopening their campuses for the fall semester. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, North Carolina State University are just a few of the schools, stretching at least 19 states, that have seen similar outbreaks.
Health experts say that Covid-19 spreads rapidly among people in dorms, bars and other crowded indoor areas, particularly among those not wearing a mask or keeping at least 6 feet away from others.