University of Chicago

More Than 150 Cases of COVID Reported During University of Chicago Spring Outbreak: CDC

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its report after a COVID outbreak sickened a total of 158 students at the University of Chicago earlier this year, with many of those students likely becoming infected during spring break trips out of state.

According to the report, at least 89 of the students reported travel outside of the city during spring break earlier this year. Another 57 reported that they had been spending time indoors with other individuals before they became infected by the virus.

The report also examined 104 different COVID specimens and found that there were multiple distinct variants detected among the students, including a variant that originated in Mexico and has rarely been seen before or since in the state of Illinois.

The CDC says that the findings of the report indicate that there is significant potential for COVID outbreaks following student travel during breaks, at the beginning of new school terms, and after large indoor social gatherings.

In a statement, the university says that it learned of the cluster of cases in April 2021, and implemented safety protocols, including a stay-at-home order on April 8.

The school had said at the time that it believed the cases were linked to off-campus fraternity parties.

The school says that those protocols helped to snuff out that outbreak, and helped keep students safe throughout the year.

“The collective compliance by our campus community with public health precautions allowed us to successfully limit the spread of the virus on the UChicago campus,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

According to university officials, 83% of school employees and 90% of students have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The school’s autumn quarter is set to begin on Sept. 27.

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