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Providence College deals with surge of student virus cases

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Saying “we are out of options,” the president of Providence College announced that the school is moving to remote-only learning for at least two weeks after a surge of new confirmed coronavirus cases among students.

More than 80 students at the Roman Catholic school tested positive for the disease in just two days, the Rev. Kenneth Sicard wrote in a message to the community Thursday.

Most live off campus. The school has now had 106 positive student cases. Providence has about 4,800 students.

Students who live off campus cannot leave their apartments, and students who live on campus will be tested and are not allowed to leave campus, he said. Gatherings of any kind are banned.

Students who violate the rules face suspensions, and if things get worse, campus may be shut down for the semester, Sicard said.

“We recognize how serious and difficult these directives are, but this is our last chance to remain together in person for the fall semester,” Sicard said. “Between these actions and the serious steps we already have taken – especially in the past few days – we have used virtually every tool at our disposal. We are out of options.”

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