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Bradley University quarantines entire student body after COVID-19 outbreak

Officials at the private university in central Illinois said they have linked a spike in coronavirus cases to off-campus gatherings.

PEORIA, Illinois — Bradley University in central Illinois is requiring its entire student body to quarantine for two weeks because of clusters of COVID-19 on campus and is reverting to remote learning, officials announced Tuesday.

Officials of the private university said they have linked a spike of the coronavirus to off-campus gatherings. The Peoria university is requiring students to limit nonessential interactions, stay in their off-campus apartments, residence halls or Greek houses and take classes remotely beginning Tuesday.

In announcing the measure, the university said it has tallied about 50 COVID-19 cases so far, adding emergency measures are needed to respond to the outbreak without disrupting academic progress.

“Although it may seem extreme, this move to temporary remote learning and a two-week, all-student quarantine allows us to focus on the continuity of the educational experience for all of our students while giving us time to gather data on the full extent of the spread of the virus and assess the best way to proceed as a community,” Bradley President Stephen Standifird said in a message to students.

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Most of those who tested positive are asymptomatic carriers and others have experienced mild symptoms, Standifird said. More than 500 students were in quarantine as of Tuesday morning.

While about 4,600 undergraduates were enrolled at Bradley last year, it wasn’t immediately known how many are enrolled this fall.