Miami University students party with COVID-19 (Reports)
Miami University students party with COVID-19 (Reports)

Miami University of Ohio’s COVID-19 case numbers surpassed the University of Dayton’s Thursay, becoming the state’s second largest active outbreak behind Ohio State.

This comes as a group Miami students, who were captured on video telling officers they are COVID-19 positive, face citations for hosting a party this weekend.

Bodycam footage released by the local police department Wednesday showed the officer questioning the student after he ran his ID through a database that showed the student had recently tested positive.

The Oxford Police Department officer asked the student how many people were inside the house party. The student said about 20. Several students are seen leaving the house through the front yard. One walks off with a large speaker.

“Do you have other people here and you’re positive for COVID? You see the problem?” the officer said. “We want to keep this town open.”

The student responded that he was following the university’s instructions to quarantine because he was at his own house.

“You’re not quarantining if you’re mixing with other people,” the officer responded.

On Wednesday, Miami University reported 1,174 cumulative student cases since Aug. 17.

Ohio State reported 314 new positive COVID-19 tests Thursday and a 5.7 percent seven-day average positive rate. Ohio State’s dashboard shows 1,814 student tests have come back positive.

As of Wednesday, the University of Dayton was reporting 1,172 student cases, with 992 of those student having recovered.

As cases started to climb at the University of Dayton, the college shifted to remote learning. Recently the school’s daily new cases have significantly slowed. Remote learning has been extended until at least Sept. 14. Reopening is contingent on low case numbers.

Miami University opted earlier in the summer to start remotely for the first month of the year. President Gregory Crawford said Wednesday the school would go ahead with its plan to begin in-person and hybrid classes Sept. 21, with move-in beginning Sept. 14, despite the school’s climbing case count.

The outbreaks on college campuses are now significantly impacting overall COVID-19 case numbers for Ohio counties and cities where universities are located.

Columbus’s seven-day average of new cases has nearly doubled since late August and the city recorded 316 cases on Sept. 4, Columbus’s highest single-day case count so far. Butler County now has the second highest case count per capita of Ohio counties, largely due to the outbreak at Miami University.

Ohio State’s outbreak could soon become the largest COVID-19 outbreak to date in Ohio. Prior to colleges reopening, Marion Correctional Institution’s 2,443 cases ranked the prison among the largest outbreaks nationwide.

At a press conference earlier in the week, Gov. Mike DeWine discussed Ohio State’s COVID-19 outbreak with Ohio State University President Kristina Johnson.

DeWine pointed out the university’s positivity rate was very low when students arrived to campus last month. Johnson acknowledged the university’s positivity rate trended upward quite quickly, but said she has “cautious optimism” the trend is headed in a better direction.

She said she could not be more proud of how Ohio State students are practicing social distancing, especially students who live on campus.

Johnson agreed with DeWine it is harder to keep a handle on students’ behavior off campus. She said the university is working with sororities and fraternities to encourage responsible behavior.

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