More than 1,100 students at Miami University in Ohio have tested positive for coronavirus since mid-August. But even after testing positive, a group of students was caught on camera hosting a large house party over Labor Day weekend, breaking quarantine rules.
An officer with the Oxford Police Department arrived to break up a house party over the weekend that violated capacity rules, which currently allow gatherings of no more than 10 people. When police arrived at the house, several students were sitting on the porch, unmasked, drinking and listening to music.
Despite allowing 20 people inside the house, the hosts of the party maintained they were following guidelines. According to the officer’s body-camera footage, he warned the students that they were violating safety guidelines before running one student’s license.
But after scanning the ID of one of the students who lives in the house, he saw a note on his computer that the student tested positive for COVID-19 just one week prior.
“How many other people have COVID?” the officer asked.
“They all do,” the student replied, gesturing toward his housemates. He added that some of the guests had also tested positive.
“That’s what we’re trying to prevent,” the officer said. “We want to keep this town open.”
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Police fined six men — five who live in the house and one visitor — $500 each.
“This particular case is egregious, but I think for the most part, by in large, the students have been very well behaved,” Lt. Lara Fening with the Oxford Police Department told CBS News affiliate WKRC.
“Some residents came over from across the street that were reportedly COVID-positive as well,” said Fening. “We do not know if anybody else at that party was aware of the COVID-positive residents because some of them left while the officer was there.”
Miami University said it receives student violations from the Oxford PD. The school told CBS News that it could not comment on an individual case, but said that any student in violation of quarantine or isolation orders, including hosting a large gathering, will face disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct.
“We take these matters most seriously, and students can face suspension or dismissal for these types of violations,” a spokesperson for the university told CBS News on Friday.
The school announced this week that it will resume in-person and hybrid classes on campus on September 21, following a month of entirely online classes. Students living on-campus are continuing their phased move-in starting Monday.
All students returning to campus must be tested for coronavirus before moving into dorms. Additionally, face masks are required for all students and faculty and all activities outside of the classroom with more than 10 participants have been canceled or moved virtually.