University COVID-19 Outbreak Tied to Fraternity Parties Spreads

July 19, 2020

    Twenty-five more University of California Berkeley students have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases at the university to 95.

    About three-fourths of the cases at UC Berkeley have been confirmed in the past two weeks, and the majority of those are connected to fraternity parties held at the beginning of the month, according to the university.  

    University of California San Francisco Epidemiology Professor Dr. George Rutherford told KCBS Radio it’s important that young adults recognize they are as susceptible to the coronavirus as anyone else.  

    “There is plenty of virus around and about, and you can very easily get infected,” Dr. Rutherford said. “The ways you get infected are by getting within close contact to people and not having masks on.” 

    UC Berkeley said safety protocols such as social distancing and wearing face coverings were not followed at the gatherings in question.  

    While Dr. Rutherford added that he understands socializing is a large part of college life, he said this is a serious cautionary tale. 

    "Unless we want to have another 5,000 cases a day in California, this is exactly the kind of amplification that we don’t need,” Dr. Rutherford said. 

    A Cal spokesperson said in a statement that the good news is that far fewer students were confirmed to have the virus this week than last, and the people who have been asked to come in for testing are doing so. 

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