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University of Miami moves to contain coronavirus outbreak in dorms

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Jaylen Sanders just started classes at the University of Miami on Monday, and already he was facing the threat of a coronavirus outbreak in the dorms.

Sanders, a freshman, said Friday the university was providing free tests. He is among the students who were asked to quarantine.

The university is also providing face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. Classrooms have plexiglass divisions between teachers and students.

“After determining that four students in Hecht Residential College had tested positive for COVID-19 this week, those students, and several others who have shown symptoms, were immediately removed from their floors and are in isolation in another location,” a university statement says.

Administrators are investigating if a recent party inside a campus dorm is related to the outbreak. For now, 51 students on the 7th and 8th floors of the McDonald Tower, where Sanders resides, are on quarantine, administrators said.

“This semester begins unlike any in our history,” said Dr. Julio Frenk, the university’s president.

Frenk is a physician who served as Mexico’s minister of health and has experience with the World Health Organization. He is also the former dean of Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Sanders said he feels safe.

“I’m glad the university has proper procedures in place,” Sanders said. “This is also one of the risks you take when coming on campus, in the middle of this pandemic.”

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