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Greek houses at IU told to quarantine after ‘alarming increase’ in COVID-19 cases

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana University officials have ordered members who live in eight different Greek houses to quarantine after they say there has been an “alarming increase of positive (COVID-19) tests.”

In a press release sent to News 8, IU said it’s COVID-19 mitigation testing has found an increase in cases within Greek, Evans Scholars and Christian Student Fellowship houses. All of the previously mentioned communal living residences have been told to suspend in-person activities until Sept. 14. Dining and housing for the live-in members of the homes is permitted.

The houses directed to quarantine include: Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Sigma Phi, Beta Theta Pi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Theta Chi.

The members of the houses have been told to quarantine for 14 days.

Some students in quarantined houses have left campus entirely and headed home for a couple weeks, while those in non-quarantined houses need to suspend all in-person activities outside of dining and housing.

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“IU leadership has been working with fraternity and sorority chapters since the onset of COVID-19 given the special risk factors associated with this specific type of communal living,” according to the press release. “As residences not owned or operated by the university, housed Greek and student organizations were instructed to develop their own specific isolation and quarantine plans following guidance and recommendations from IU and the Monroe County Health Department. IU will continue to work with the Monroe County Health Department to support chapters during this time.”

IU is encouraging the IU community to avoid parties and gatherings and to also comply with the university’s required health and safety practices.

“Obviously the consequences are a lot higher for us because we’re living in such a packed house,” Alpha Phi sophomore Cailey Hopkinson said. “So we all need to make sure that we’re staying home and not going out.”

Some students involved in Greek life say they’re disappointed because they’ve been doing as much as they can to stay safe.

“We wear our masks in the house,” Hopkinson said. “We can’t use any other bathrooms. It’s very strict. So it’s a little bit disappointing to see other houses not using those same precautions.”

Each house has its own set of rules, which has been nerve-wracking for some students.

“Personally, I don’t know what’s happening in other chapters, but it is concerning because I know of our strict guidelines and I don’t know what they’ve been following,” Sigma Kappa sophomore Ella Rhoades said.

University officials say they’re going to keep their eye on Greek housing and will likely test all Greek students again next week.

Greek life has also been impacted at other Indiana universities, including Purdue University, where about 55 members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon are in quarantine for the first two weeks of the new semester that began Monday, according to media reports. The Delta Delta Delta house on Tower Drive is also in quarantine.

Also at Purdue, the members of Circle Pines Cooperative — the ones who were not suspended after holding a party violating the university’s social distancing rules — are in quarantine after two members tested positive.

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