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Assumption University Will Lock Down Campus To Stop COVID Spread

WORCESTER (CBS) - After an increase in positive coronavirus cases and students placed in quarantine, Assumption University is working with the Worcester Department of Public Health to stop the spread of the disease by locking down the campus for a week.

In a statement on Thursday, Assumption University President Francesco C. Cesareo said starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, students will remain in their dorms or off-campus through Friday, November 6. All classes will be remote for the upcoming week, and all in-person activities (such as athletics) will be suspended.

"At the end of the timeframe of the shelter-in-place, we will reassess the situation with the Worcester Department of Public Health. The University will continue to provide information to the community as it becomes available," wrote President Cesareo.

Students on campus will only be allowed to leave their residence hall, floor or apartment, to pick up meals, medical emergencies or twice-per-week COVID-19 testing. Three meals will be offered to on-campus students per day.

Student Laine Peterson says she plans to hunker down with her roommates, but it may feel like a long week.

"It's kind of nerve-racking, honestly." said Peterson. "I like to get out and like do stuff, like even just go for a walk around campus."

Faculty and staff, outside of essential personnel, will also teach and work remotely. Meanwhile, all visitors are not allowed on campus.

"I feel like our school is trying to keep us safe, so they are smart about the situation. But it is upsetting," said Olivia Shopovick, another student. ""It's kind of sad too because we're supposed to be enjoying our college experience, so like we can't right now."

As of Thursday, 155 students are in isolation or quarantine on and off-campus. On Wednesday, the university announced eight new positive cases.

"Due to our comprehensive contact tracing, there's about 20 percent of our students in quarantine or isolation," said Michael Guilfoyle, Assumption University Executive Director of Communication.

If students want to leave campus, they won't be allowed back until January. The deadline to be picked up is Friday at 4 p.m.

For students, a long week ahead, after what's already felt like a long year.

"I'm getting really tired of the COVID," said Peterson. "I got to say."

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