BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Spring semester began Tuesday at Johns Hopkins University, and undergrads were almost immediately informed in-person classes were suspended after the University said it detected a “cluster” of COVID-19 cases.

“It was really scary. Then, the University started emailing us asking us to stay inside, not to go outside to gather off-campus,” Johns Hopkins University freshman Hardy Williams said.

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“We have to do what we can now to make sure we have a good end of the semester,” Johns Hopkins University freshman Sophie Bieker told WJZ.

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Johns Hopkins University officials said they made the decision not so much out of specific classroom concern, but to give them more time to assess the outbreak.

Councilwoman Odette Ramos represents the surrounding area and met with University officials Thursday.

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“Partying college students is an issue in this area, period,” she said. “With the added COVID, it’s a whole new dimension of concern.”

Ramos said the University is taking the outbreak seriously after they announced stricter testing protocols and a ban on any gatherings, indoor or outdoor, through Monday.

Neighbors said they have noticed the difference.

“If anyone’s having parties, I haven’t heard them,” Matthew Bowers said. “It’s definitely quieter, for sure.”

Johns Hopkins University officials said a number of positive tests came from students in the Charles Commons. Residents here are now tested daily and must quarantine through the weekend.

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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