According to a news release from the University of Washington, the school has independently confirmed that at least 62 frat house residents have tested positive for the virus, with an additional four students "who are close contacts of the residents" also having tested positive. The Interfraternity Council, meanwhile, has reported that at least 105 frat house residents have self-reported positive tests.
"While we were pleased to see most of the houses had previously taken measures to reduce resident capacity by up to 50 percent this summer in response to COVID-19, those measures are not sufficient without vigilant, daily preventive measures, such as wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and hand hygiene, "Dr. Geoffrey Gottlieb, chair of the UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, warned earlier this week.
Gottlieb is also urging everyone to take seriously the use of face masks and the implementation of social distancing measures ahead of the start of a new school year.
"If we don't, measures such as what are now required on Greek Row will be inevitable," Gottlieb said. "My sense is all students want to return to some sense of normalcy, so I urge all of us to follow public health guidelines so we can do just that."
University officials add that the numbers released so far may not accurately capture the extent of positive diagnoses. As of June 30, the university estimated that "about 1,000 students" were living across 25 frat houses in a neighborhood north of the main campus. Residents have since been told to self-isolate as an added precaution.
As of July 2, the CDC is reporting 2.7 millions cases and more than 128,000 deaths across the U.S.