AVE MARIA, Fla — Ave Maria University has decided to move classes online for 48 hours after positive COVID-19 cases grew over the weekend.
The university has also postponed certain student activities so that the Coronavirus Response Team can review protocols.
In a message from Chris Ice, the university's president, he says in the spring semester they formed a Coronavirus Response Team.
The team consisted of members of the executive team and medical professionals.
The university published a Health Safety Plan on July 23, and safety measures were put into place so everyone could return to in-person classes in the fall.
"As we put this plan together, we hoped, but never assumed, that we would have zero cases of COVID-19 on our campus, even though that was the case at the time it was authored," Ice said.
"We planned for, and fully anticipated, that some of our 1,136 students might contract COVID-19. We prayed, we planned, and now we are prepared to handle the positive cases as they arise,"
He goes on to say they carefully welcomed their students back in August, and they were divided up into groups.
On September 4, the university reported performing over 287 tests and had four students test positive for COVID-19.
Ice says the students were isolated to stop the spread.
The university began to see a return of positive cases last week.
Four cases appeared again, and those students were isolated, and over the weekend, more positive cases grew.
"As of now, we stand at 19 students who have tested positive," Ice said.
"Of those who have tested positive, no student has been hospitalized, most have no symptoms, and those with mild symptoms have recovered."
Ice says the university has consulted with medical professionals and are taking the proper steps.
"We will increase the frequency of classroom cleanings during the day using our new electrostatic backpack disinfectant sprayer that kills the virus within three minutes," Ice said.
All faculty are also required to wear masks in all classrooms similar to the protocols in the cafeteria.
Ice says they feel confident they can return to in-person classes on Wednesday, October 14th.