BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In-person undergraduate classes at Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus are being suspended Wednesday and Thursday after the University said it detected a “cluster” of COVID-19 cases.

The University said 30 undergraduates, many of whom are student-athletes and some of whom live in Charles Commons, tested positive for the virus Tuesday and Wednesday, leading to the pause in in-person learning.

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Officials said the cases may be tied to off-campus social gatherings from over the weekend.


“We are taking a quick and proactive approach to this moment, although our numbers are small relative to our total population, out of an abundance of caution and to provide the opportunity to reinforce our communications with undergraduates about COVID safety precautions,” the University said. “Our peers who operated successfully in-person in the fall have not seen cases of transmission in classrooms, and we have had the same experience in our research labs, but we believe this action is necessary to ensure that we can carry out the rest of the semester safely.”

In addition to the pause in in-person learning, residents of Charles Commons and all student-athletes are being ordered to self-quarantine and get tested.

The University said it’s offering extra testing and doing contact tracing to find out how the cluster may have spread.

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Some students expressed concern, while others said it was bound to happen.

“It’s a little disheartening to see. As a student, it’s a little bit scary. None of us are vaccinated yet,” Taharat Sheikh, a Junior at Johns Hopkins University, said.

“A lot of people expected it. Just because compared to the fall there’s just a large number of students that have come back since then,” Dillion DePriest, a Senior at Johns Hopkins University, said.

Chief Medical Officer at Sinai Hospital, Doctor Esti Schabelman, said he was not surprised there was a cluster reported.

“It doesn’t shock me that there’s been like a cluster,” Doctor Schabelman said. “I mean, these are students who are living on campus and interacting on a daily basis.”

In a statement, the University said they’re committed to keeping faculty, staff, students and their Baltimore neighbors safe.

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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.