University of Miami reports ‘dramatic’ increase in coronavirus cases, including UK variant

UM to enforce 10-day of lockdown restrictions

University of Miami President Julio Frenk announced on Friday that the private university is reporting a ”dramatic” increase in the number of COVID-19 infections among students on campus.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami President Julio Frenk announced on Friday the private university is implementing a 10-day lockdown that will have some flexibilities. He said the measure follows a ”dramatic” increase in coronavirus infections among students on campus.

Although the university has been able to manage the spike in cases, the containment efforts cannot be sustained without drastically reducing the current numbers of cases, Frenk said.

Frenk said some cases on campus are related to the more contagious United Kingdom strain of the coronavirus and to students meeting in off-campus social settings.

“This situation requires quick and strong action,” Frenk said.

The university is implementing a lockdown from Friday night to Feb. 16 that doesn’t apply to university employees. No fans will be allowed at home games. Fraternity houses will be closed to guests. Panhellenic Building suites will be closed. Students will not be allowed to congregate in groups of more than 10.

Students on the Coral Gables and Virginia Key campuses are only allowed to leave their residences or households in certain circumstances including medical circumstances, intercollegiate athletics, in-classroom classes, or other education-related endeavors. The wellness center and pool will remain open.

“Throughout the 10-day period of restricted activities, we will evaluate the spread of infection through extensive testing and other surveillance actions,” Frenk said. “Depending on the results, we will consider releasing the restrictions, extending them further, or introducing additional measures.”

Social distancing and face-mask use are still required. Frenk said students found in deliberate violation of the university’s public health guidelines will face disciplinary action such as suspension of individuals or entire student organizations.

UM issues 10-day restrictions after increase in coronavirus cases.

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Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.