Gettysburg College students point to Greek life as Covid-19 outbreak source

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GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Gettysburg College students are locked down under mandatory quarantine while the school grapples with a recent coronavirus outbreak.

Student Lauren Mitchell said she and other students were notified of the mandatory quarantine on Tuesday night. “It all happened very fast. We weren’t expecting it to get so bad so fast.”

Another student, Carter Zamora, said it was a sudden move. “I feel like they weren’t very restrictive last week so this is definitely a change.”

So far, the college says 347 students have been tested. 323 came back negative while 24 tested positive. 3 staff members also tested positive.

Some students think they know who is behind the outbreak.

“The spike in cases coincided with our college’s rush week,” Zamora said.

Student Lily Morrell agrees. “It wasn’t just the fraternities and sororities, but it was definitely them that had the burst when it happened.”

The college did not specify how the outbreak started, although a letter sent to students said most of the positive cases are “connected to certain affinity groups or social gatherings.”

The recently imposed quarantine has already become a challenge for the campus.

“I will say it’s a little hard to be stuck in a room 24/7. Especially, mentally. It’s good to get outside and get some air and to be able to walk around and get some exercise,” Mitchell said.

Not everyone thinks the college’s decision to quarantine students will be helpful.

“We might as well just pack it up and go home because I don’t really see cases decreasing here,” Zamora said.

Some are optimistic that the school year could swing back to relative normalcy.

“I’d much rather be cooped up for about a week instead of having to be sent home and be cooped up in my house for the next couple months like we have been,” Morrell said. “So I think it’s good that the school is really cracking down on making sure these cases don’t grow more.”

The college said the quarantine will go through at least the end of the week. More tests will be underway to determine how long it needs to last.

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