BU records 40 more COVID-19 cases, school now at 90

Last updated: August 26, 2020 - 5:44pm

BLOOMSBURG — In two days, Bloomsburg University has recorded 40 more COVID-19 cases, pushing the total of BU-related cases to 90 less than two weeks since classes started, according to university numbers.

Of those, 67 students live off campus, with 14 on campus, and eight others isolated in their homes, the school says. 

The school's most recent report, released this afternoon, revealed the sharp climb seen in previous reports from the school continued. Just three days after classes began, 10 students and one staff member had tested positive for the virus.

By Monday, the number of students infected had jumped to 49. Now, that number is at 89.

The climb is worrisome for town leaders.

There have been dozens of off-campus parties since classes began Aug. 17. That included one this weekend on Fetterman Avenue that saw about 80 partiers gathered in a fraternity house, said Bloomsburg Police Chief Roger Van Loan. There was also a Friday brawl caught on video that police are investigating.

Van Loan called the behavior “disappointing, but not surprising.”

“I don’t know that they truly comprehend what they’re doing to the community,” Van Loan said. “And I don’t think they care.”

On Tuesday, Bloomsburg University President Bashar Hanna released a video to university students, pleading with them to behave responsibly in an effort to keep the campus open. 

The video was in response to the university’s increasing numbers of coronavirus cases, as well as reports of at least one large gathering at a popular off-campus party spot in town.

“I have learned that this past weekend not everybody behaved the way we expected them to,” Hanna said. “The behavior of some of our students in town was less than ideal.”

“Each one of us is responsible for our own actions,” Hanna said, “but we have crossed that bridge where we now need to be accountable to each other and the greater community.”

Van Loan said the large party resulted in citations for the residents, while police are using video of the brawl at Lightstreet Road and Main Street late Friday night to try to identify those involved.

We'll have much more in Thursday's paper.


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