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Two more clusters identified at ECU; 10 positive cases involving football team

Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 4:54 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2020 at 3:56 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - East Carolina University says they have identified two more clusters, one in a residence hall, and another involving the football team.

There are seven positive cases at Clement Hall and 10 positive cases associated with the football team, according to an alert sent out by ECU late Thursday afternoon.

ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert announced Thursday that football activities are pausing indefinitely after evaluating results from the latest rounds of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing.

All of the affected people will be isolated based on medical guidelines. ECU says contact tracing will be conducted for close contacts and those identified will be quarantined.

Monday night, ECU announced its first cluster of COVID-19 cases at Gateway West. The Pitt County health director said that involved 17 or 18 cases.

A cluster is defined as five or more cases deemed in close proximity in one location.

INTERIM CHANCELLOR RON MITCHELSON STATEMENT - AUGUST 21ST

At East Carolina University, we continue to analyze carefully, along with our public health experts, the key COVID-19 metrics from campus and local data. Our students, staff, faculty and parents are continuing to monitor the data as well.

ECU continues to message students and employees through multiple platforms regarding personal responsibility and the need to comply with safety protocols – the three Ws. Wear your mask or face covering; wait six feet; wash your hands frequently. Additionally the university has sanction procedures in place for those who continue to ignore their responsibility to the university community. And I appreciate those who are following the guidelines and those working to keep our campus open and operational each day.

The university continues to adapt to the challenges that COVID-19 presents. However, conditions may change and flexibility is vital. As we go forward, we will continue to work with UNC System President Peter Hans to make the best decisions for the well-being of our campus.

ECU ALERT ANNOUNCING LATEST CLUSTERS

Students, faculty and staff:

East Carolina University has identified a cluster of COVID-19 cases within the university’s football team and Clement Hall. There are currently seven positives related to Clement Hall and 10 positives associated with the football team.

A “cluster” is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as five or more cases that are deemed close proximity in location. “Location” is defined as a single residential hall or dwelling.

The individuals in this cluster have been identified and we are working closely with our partners at the Pitt County Health Department. Contact tracing has been initiated with direct communication to anyone determined to have been a close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. A close contact is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes when either person has not been wearing a face covering. Those identified as a close contact will be notified directly and provided with further guidance.

We are notifying the campus of this cluster per guidance under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, which establishes requirements regarding health and safety information that universities must share with their campuses.

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