[An update to this story is available here]
Gettysburg College has reported on its website that at 33 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified among students as a result of the second round of testing completed Monday through Wednesday last week.
Associate Director of Communications Mike Baker confirmed that some students who have tested positive have been placed in quarantine in local motels.
The college is using the Gettysburg Hotel to house students this year, and those students have been quarantined.
“What we are … seeing … suggests that we may be at the beginning of a concerning pattern shift,” said Julie L. Ramsey, Vice President for College Life, in a letter to parents and students.
“The second round of tests, just administered and still being analyzed, has already produced more positives than in the first round, and more than we hoped to see,” said Dr. Richard Keeling, the college’s consultant on health and safety.
“While by no means a crisis, this is a direction and pattern we do NOT want to see continue. We will need to reinforce our purpose and mission for being together and get on the path to discipline ourselves and one another to follow the protocols that we all know contain the spread of the virus,” said Keeling.
Ramsey said the College is immediately restricting student gatherings to a maximum of four for this weekend.
Ramsey said the college is still waiting for full results from last week’s testing and will provide a comprehensive update to the community no later than Monday.
The college expects to conduct 800-900 new COVID tests next week. “This is likely to be a combination of random testing and a focus on segments of the population where students have already tested positive,” said Ramsey.
All students are required to attend a virtual town hall on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the situation.