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Two Greek chapters at University of Idaho in quarantine amid COVID-19 uptick

University of Idaho leaders say the increase in COVID-19 cases is "significant" but they believe the uptick is isolated to a few Greek chapters.

MOSCOW, Idaho — Two Greek chapters at the University of Idaho are in quarantine as school leaders report an increase in positive COVID-19 cases.

In a memo sent to students, faculty and staff on Monday, March 1, UI President Scott Green and Executive Vice President Torrey Lawrence said the increase in positive cases came after the "recent long weekend and subsequent snow closure in Moscow." 

The positivity rate for 802 test results received over the past week was 7.61 percent, according to the memo. The university's online COVID-19 Dashboard shows that the positivity rate was sitting near 1.3% one week prior. 

The increase in cases is "significant," according to the memo, but university leaders believe the uptick is "isolated to a few Greek chapters." Two of the chapters are now in quarantine at on-campus apartments. 

"We are working quickly to identify and test those who have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive," the memo reads.

This is the second time since the pandemic began that Greek chapters at the university have been quarantined. In September 2020, eight fraternity and sorority chapters were in quarantine after testing identified several COVID-19 "hot spots" on Greek Row, according to a memo from Green.

RELATED: COVID-19 'hot spots' on University of Idaho's Greek Row lead to quarantine of 8 chapters

Green and Lawrence also expressed concerns for campus safety ahead of spring amid the uptick in cases. Coronavirus testing appointments for Tuesday, March 9 and those who want one should sign up early to secure their spot, the memo said. 

Classes will resume at UI on Monday, March 22 and the university will do a "complete COVID-19 retest" of all students attending in-person upon return from spring break, according to the memo. Those who have previously tested positive for coronavirus or completed vaccination, and have it document in their student account, will not be required to test.