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Concern as Bloomsburg University coronavirus cases rise

Some students and faculty at Bloomsburg University are worried that the increase in positive tests means they will have to go home before the end of the semester.

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. — Bloomsburg University has 49 students and one staff member who tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials at Bloomsburg University are releasing COVID-19 numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. A university spokesperson says students need to follow the rules if they want to stay on campus.

Students are required to wear masks on Bloomsburg University's campus but off-campus, not everyone follows those rules.

"There's a lot of parties going on that I see on Snapchat and I don't think there's enough being done to stop them," said freshman Paige Heiser.

Bloomsburg University reported 49 students and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19. That is 39 more cases since last Wednesday.

Bloomsburg University was previously only reporting cases once a week on its website. Now it is reporting them three times a week.

"We heard from some members of campus and the community who said we really need to have more updates come to us," said Tom McGuire, a university spokesperson.

McGuire says the university has increased its testing. Students we spoke with have different opinions.

"Compared to how many students actually go here, 49 isn't a lot," said sophomore Mariah Frankford.

"I think we're not told enough about where the cases are and how worried we should be and how at risk we are being in the buildings," Heiser said.

"I also think it's going to increase over time and we're going to have to close again, which may cause a problem when we all have to go back online," Frankford added.

McGuire says students have been told multiple times they must wear their masks and practice social distancing.

"The in-person education experience that they've been desiring just will not work if they do not follow the rules."

Newswatch 16 spoke with a professor at Bloomsburg University who did not want to appear on camera or give her name. She and some of her colleagues do not think the university is doing enough.

"My question to B.U. right now is, 'How many cases do we need to see? How sick do people have to get? What has to happen before you shut this down?'" the professor asked. "We became more and more concerned that what is called the Back to Bloom plan simply does not accommodate for adequate testing."

McGuire says the university is working with the Bloomsburg Police Department. If students are cited in town, they could face sanctions from the university's code of conduct.

"If we're going to make this work, they've got to follow these rules. They have to have some personal responsibility in this pandemic and be good neighbors."

The professor we spoke with would like to see more classes offered online which she believes would make the campus safer.

"I'm a teacher. I want to be a teacher. I will work really hard to make my online classes good. I'm going to go home and grade some more. I'm not an experiment and neither are my students."

Students who test positive for COVID-19 will either go home or be moved into isolation. If they live off-campus, they will quarantine there.

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