A coronavirus outbreak at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, sent midshipmen into quarantine with 98 students moved into a hotel to recover from the virus.
The academy said it drove the 98 midshipmen to the Hilton Garden Inn in Annapolis on Monday to quarantine away from the rest of campus. Officials said they moved the students because they needed more “quarantine space” inside their dorms.
“These midshipmen are recovering from the COVID-19 virus and are from a variety of classes within the brigade,” spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson said..
According to the Naval Academy, recovering students will not be allowed to leave their rooms — except for wellness reasons — and will be checked on twice a day.
Back on campus, leaders at the Naval Academy ordered all midshipmen to stay inside their dorms for a minimum of 10 days — allowing for two hours of outdoor physical activity per day with one roommate. The order said all meals would be eaten inside the dorms, and all classes will be virtual.
“While our midshipman population is young and healthy and likely able to rebound from COVID-19, there are still too many unknowns with COVID-19 to take this situation lightly,” Superintendent Vice Adm. Sean Buck said in a news release.
“The health and safety of our entire Naval Academy family is, and will remain, my highest priority while we continue to execute our mission of developing our future naval leaders.”
The COVID-19 mitigation efforts at the U.S. Naval Academy come after the University of Maryland’s February “sequester in place order,” when students were asked to stay inside their dorms as much as possible, and all classes went virtual.
The academy launched a contact tracing effort and is testing any close-contacts to COVID-19 positive students.
“We need this to be an all-hands effort from our faculty, staff, coaches … this is not just a midshipman effort,” Buck said.
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