COVID cases are spiking at the University of Delaware

6abc Digital Staff Image
Friday, February 26, 2021
UDel makes changes after increase of COVID on campus
An increase in the number of COVID-19 cases has the University of Delaware making changes.

NEWARK, Delaware (WPVI) -- There's an alarming uptick in coronavirus cases at the University of Delaware. Right now the school is seeing dozens of new infections every day and they are working hard to slow the outbreak.

The spring semester started last week, and already cases are spiking. While the university anticipated an increase in cases with more students on campus and in the city of Newark, they did not expect the numbers to be this high.

"I'm afraid of getting COVID," said Kezia Sebuabe, a freshman.

Many students said they're not surprised at the increase in cases.

"Unfortunately there is a lot of people going out on the weekends, and doing things that they're not really supposed to be doing, and it's unfortunate because it's going to get us sent home," said Whitney Hittle, a freshman.

A spokesperson for the university said to combat the spike the biggest measure in place is closing dining halls.

"Our contact tracing shows that a lot of the transmission is happening in the dining halls because students are taking their masks off, they're in larger groups," said Andrea Boyle Tippett, the director of external relations for the University.

Instead, students can only take out food now, which is a reassurance for some who saw students pushing dining hall tables together.

"There was this one group in the corner all the time, you'd go back there, there was like 40 kids," said James Vellanti, a freshman.

Students can't meet inside to eat together on campus including in residence halls and common spaces although they can eat outside socially distanced.

Students living on campus are required to get tested once a week, but some said it's not enough because of the behavior they see on social media.

"Instagram, Snapchat, all of it people are just not wearing masks, they're not following protocols, there's giant groups of people gathering in these little small apartments," said Sofia Ireland, a freshman.

Frustrating those who said they've been following the rules.

"On-campus is it going to shut down all of a sudden again," said Matanda Mondoa, a student technician.

For perspective, Boyle Tippett said there have been 72 new cases Thursday, and on Wednesday there were 87. Last semester the most the university had in a week was 134.

If conditions improve, the latest restrictions will be lifted, but if this trend continues more restrictions could be coming, like all online classes.