Off-Campus Party Saturday, 4 COVID-19 Cases Wednesday

By Anthony Covino and The Equinox staff 

Four Metro campus students have tested positive for COVID-19 following an off-campus party Saturday night, the university reported Wednesday morning in its weekly health and safety update email.

Hania Ferrara, senior vice president for finance and administration, wrote that the party involved FDU students and “numerous” student-athletes. This resulted in mandatory COVID-19 testing of FDU athletic teams, resulting in four positives among 100 tests administered, the university said. It’s not clear whether the positive cases were limited to student-athletes. 

The Rothman Center, the campus athletics hub, closed for 36 hours.

The university did not identify any specific repercussions of the positive cases, such as mandatory quarantines, isolation or disciplinary measures, for this first instance of resident Metro students testing positive for the virus. 

The positive cases will have to be assessed by Hackensack, Teaneck, Bergen County and New Jersey health authorities. The red-flag threshold for percent positivity of testing is 5 percent, according to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. FDU reports nine positive tests for the Metro campus — four residents and five off-campus.

“We need to remain very vigilant to safeguard the health of everyone on our campuses,” Ferrara wrote in the email. “Please continue to take all precautions possible including wearing masks and practicing social distancing, and please remember we are all responsible for each other.”

The danger is that an off-campus gathering can cascade into a “super spreader” event such as what recently happened at Monmouth University. More than 100 cases were tied to an off-campus “super spreader” event, reported the Rutherford Daily Voice on Oct. 13. As a result, Monmouth has canceled all in-person classes and athletic events.

Sources tell The Equinox that the party was at a residence occupied by members of a team.

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Art by Equinox staff