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Universities sound alarm as coronavirus cases emerge just days into classes

As Syracuse University prepared to reopen at the end of August, students shared their experiences and concerns about returning to school. (Video: The Washington Post)

From the University of North Carolina to the University of Missouri to the University of Southern California, colleges that have brought students back to campus are expressing alarm about coronavirus cases emerging with classes barely started.

“The rise we’ve seen in recent days is unacceptable, and if unchecked, threatens our ability to complete the rest of the semester on campus,” University of Alabama President Stuart Bell said Monday.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 173,000, with 5,707,000 million cases confirmed.
  • Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending his 34th birthday party on Friday.
  • A Florida judge has blocked an order requiring the state’s school districts to offer in-person learning during the novel coronavirus pandemic, saying that it failed to take safety concerns into account. The state appealed late Monday, putting a stay on the preliminary injunction as the legal battle between education officials and teachers’ unions proceeds.
  • A sweeping study of nearly 800 coronavirus genomes has found that a specific mutation of the coronavirus infected hundreds of people in the Boston area, as well as victims from Alaska to Senegal to Luxembourg, after a Boston convention.
  • Scientists are pushing back on figures cited by the Trump administration to highlight the effectiveness of convalescent plasma. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said late Monday that the criticism of remarks he made Sunday was “entirely justified.”
  • American Airlines will be the first airline to deploy a disinfecting surface coating that kills coronavirus for up to seven days, the Environmental Protection Agency announced.
  • Two people in Europe have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, sparking questions over the body’s ability to build up antibodies against the disease.
  • A Hong Kong man who recovered from the coronavirus in April and then tested positive for a different strain of the virus after an August trip to Europe may be “the world’s first documentation” of a patient becoming reinfected.
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Here's what to know:

The U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 173,000, with 5,707,000 million cases confirmed.
Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending his 34th birthday party on Friday.
A Florida judge has blocked an order requiring the state’s school districts to offer in-person learning during the novel coronavirus pandemic, saying that it failed to take safety concerns into account. The state appealed late Monday, putting a stay on the preliminary injunction as the legal battle between education officials and teachers’ unions proceeds.
A sweeping study of nearly 800 coronavirus genomes has found that a specific mutation of the coronavirus infected hundreds of people in the Boston area, as well as victims from Alaska to Senegal to Luxembourg, after a Boston convention.
Scientists are pushing back on figures cited by the Trump administration to highlight the effectiveness of convalescent plasma. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said late Monday that the criticism of remarks he made Sunday was “entirely justified.”
American Airlines will be the first airline to deploy a disinfecting surface coating that kills coronavirus for up to seven days, the Environmental Protection Agency announced.
Two people in Europe have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, sparking questions over the body’s ability to build up antibodies against the disease.
A Hong Kong man who recovered from the coronavirus in April and then tested positive for a different strain of the virus after an August trip to Europe may be “the world’s first documentation” of a patient becoming reinfected.

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