TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Towson University will move all classes to remote learning for the rest of the fall semester, the university said Wednesday.

The decision came just days into the school year and on the heels of dozens of positive coronavirus tests over the weekend.

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TU moved classes online for the first week of the semester after a testing sample by the University Health Center revealed 55 positive test results out of 627 people. None of the 55 individuals who tested positive are on campus, according to the university.

The latest round of testing returned over the weekend found 66 positive COVID-19 cases, 62 of which involved students.

The university cited safety as the main reason behind moving classes online.

“As president of Towson University, my greatest priority and responsibility is to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. The events of the last few days are a reminder of the unpredictable nature of the virus,” President Kim Schatzel said in a letter to the campus community.

Schatzel said the latest cases do not appear to be an outbreak as there is no common link between them. She added the students who tested positive did not live in the same buildings or attend parties, as has been seen at other college campuses across the country.

Students learned of the decision Wednesday morning.

“We both cried,” freshman Ally Berry from Annapolis said. “Because, honestly, it’s because we’ve all made such good friends already after only just a week. It feels almost like a summer camp.”

Freshman Imani Perry from New Jersey said the decision was “a little shocking, disappointing.”

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“There’s a lot of feelings going around,” Perry said.

Alex Vlangas, a freshman from Bel Air, said it wasn’t an entirely surprising move.

“I was hoping it wouldn’t come, but we were kind of expecting it,” he said.

Still, he’s disappointed, saying students were taking necessary precautions like wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines.

And when it comes to academics, he hopes his grades don’t suffer.

“I need to be in class for me to get my full experience, so it hurts me to have to learn online,” Vlangas said.

Berry agreed.

“Honestly, I don’t think I’ll have as much motivation at home,” she said.

TU announced students will be refunded for room and board and parking, but tuition and fees will remain the same.

Courses had been set to move to fully remote instruction after Thanksgiving.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Paul Gessler