Health, university officials investigating after 11 COVID-19 cases linked to UNH frat party


Eleven cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a party at a University of New Hampshire fraternity, state health officials said.>> Download the free WMUR appOfficials said more than 100 people with little mask-wearing and no social distancing were at the Aug. 29 off-campus party held by Theta Chi fraternity. This is the first cluster of COVID-19 reported at a college or university in New Hampshire.”We determined that at least one person with confirmed COVID-19 infection attended this party,” said Dr. Beth Daly, chief of the state Bureau of Infectious Disease Control. “That is how we learned about the party that did occur.”That person was asymptomatic, officials said. Test results through the university’s ongoing student testing program arrived Aug. 31, and contact tracing led back to where that person had been two days earlier. University officials called the gathering reckless and reprehensible. All members of Theta Chi fraternity are under a 14-day quarantine.”We’re concerned about any other individuals who may have been attending events there or visiting their friends at this location, just because we know there have been at least 11 people who have tested positive who are associated with Theta Chi,” Daly said.She said those individuals should watch for symptoms and seek testing.UNH President James Dean has issued a statement saying that until the investigation is complete, there is moratorium on any in-person gatherings of any size for all fraternities, sororities and student organizations. Since students have returned to campus, colleges across the state have ramped up testing. A dashboard put together by the Department of Health and Human Services statewide shows there are three current cases at Franklin Pierce University, one at Keene State College, three at New England College Henniker, two at New England College Manchester, one at Plymouth State University, one at Rivier University and 33 across the UNH system.

Eleven cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a party at a University of New Hampshire fraternity, state health officials said.

>> Download the free WMUR app

Officials said more than 100 people with little mask-wearing and no social distancing were at the Aug. 29 off-campus party held by Theta Chi fraternity. This is the first cluster of COVID-19 reported at a college or university in New Hampshire.

“We determined that at least one person with confirmed COVID-19 infection attended this party,” said Dr. Beth Daly, chief of the state Bureau of Infectious Disease Control. “That is how we learned about the party that did occur.”

That person was asymptomatic, officials said. Test results through the university’s ongoing student testing program arrived Aug. 31, and contact tracing led back to where that person had been two days earlier.

University officials called the gathering reckless and reprehensible. All members of Theta Chi fraternity are under a 14-day quarantine.

“We’re concerned about any other individuals who may have been attending events there or visiting their friends at this location, just because we know there have been at least 11 people who have tested positive who are associated with Theta Chi,” Daly said.

She said those individuals should watch for symptoms and seek testing.

UNH President James Dean has issued a statement saying that until the investigation is complete, there is moratorium on any in-person gatherings of any size for all fraternities, sororities and student organizations.

Since students have returned to campus, colleges across the state have ramped up testing. A dashboard put together by the Department of Health and Human Services statewide shows there are three current cases at Franklin Pierce University, one at Keene State College, three at New England College Henniker, two at New England College Manchester, one at Plymouth State University, one at Rivier University and 33 across the UNH system.

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