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COVID outbreak prompts Holy Cross to suspend in-person activities

Holy Cross has restricted all in-person activities at least until Wednesday due to an outbreak of more than 40 COVID-19 cases on campus.
Holy Cross has restricted all in-person activities at least until Wednesday due to an outbreak of more than 40 COVID-19 cases on campus.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester has restricted all in-person activities at least until Wednesday due to an outbreak of more than 40 COVID-19 cases on campus, the college said Friday.

Classes will go remote, athletics are canceled and the library is closed as the Catholic college copes with the highest number of coronavirus cases of the spring semester, the Catholic college said in a letter to students.

Sunday Mass will be live-streamed for attendees, while daily masses and opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation will not be offered on Monday or Tuesday, the college said.

Contact tracing showed the majority of cases are from outdoor gatherings, with a smaller number from travel over Easter break, the school said.

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Off-campus students are not allowed on campus, except for COVID testing, health services visits, or to pick up food from the dining hall. Likewise, the college urged newly admitted students to suspend their visits in the meantime.

With the weather getting warmer, the college said it has seen more students letting their guards down and gathering without masks or social distancing. It warned that students who violate the new restrictions will face “serious consequences.”

“To be clear, any student gatherings — inside or out, on-campus or off — will lead to serious consequences. We cannot allow the actions of a few to ruin things for the many,” college administrators said.

Administrators expressed concern about the growing presence of COVID variants.

“We’ve noticed more close contacts converting to positive cases than earlier in the year. More students who test positive are also reporting more serious symptoms than in the past,” the letter said.

All students will be tested Monday or Tuesday, and the college will reevaluate restrictions on Wednesday.


Christine Mui can be reached at christine.mui@globe.com.