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UNE Reports 3 Positive COVID-19 Cases Related To Student Gathering

Wei Chen
Flickr/Creative Commons
A building on UNE's Biddeford campus.

The University of New England says that three undergraduate students have tested positive for COVID-19, and another 22 are in quarantine.

The school announced on Monday that it’s reviewing the conduct of 17 students who apparently failed to wear masks and physically distance at a gathering near the Biddeford campus last Wednesday evening.

UNE officials say the confirmed and potential cases can be traced to a single student who arrived at the party with a negative test in hand but later tested positive. The virus spread to another student at the gathering, as well as to a student who did not attend. Aside from the three positive cases, 22 students are now in quarantine.

UNE president James Herbert says the 17 students at the party could face consequences that range from warnings to expulsion. He says it’s not surprising that cooped-up college students might want to get together, but UNE has been clear about the rules requiring masks and physical distancing.

“And then, if someone chooses not to, there has to be consequences so people learn. And frankly, this is one of those times I hope the rumor mill does work. And that the students hear about this and any consequences that are applied and are appropriate so they’ll think twice about these kinds of gatherings going forward,” he says.

Herbert says that most UNE students are adhering to safety protocols. In a letter sent to undergraduates, Dean of Students Jen DeBurro warned that if the behavior continues, the university could lose its shot at an in-person semester.

She told students that if they lack the fortitude and maturity to live on and around campuses this semester, “this isn’t the place for you.”