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University of Rhode Island tells frats, sororities to shelter in place

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The University of Rhode Island issued a two-week shelter-in-place order Friday for fraternity and sorority members, citing a high number of coronavirus cases in the school’s Greek system.

The school sent the notice in tandem with its Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association.

“We ask our Greek Life students to comply with this request with a focus on returning to full campus participation in 14 days,” the notice said. “We know your collective actions can have a positive impact on our ability to continue the fall semester with face-to-face classes.”

The order is in effect from 9 p.m. Friday to Saturday, Oct. 24, the school said. Members of fraternities and sororities should not leave their houses, on or off campus, whether Greek housing or not, except for medical visits and other essential services, such as grocery shopping and essential employment.

The notice says students will take all classes virtually for the duration of the order and should not visit campus if they don’t already live there.

The school said it based its decision on statistics showing a much higher rate of coronavirus positivity among students in Greek housing, 11.17%, than in total off-campus housing, 3.83%, and the on-campus population, 0.65%.

There was no evidence as of Friday that the virus had been spread in classrooms or labs, the school said. Chapters with no cases can apply for an exception.

Students and chapters that don’t follow guidelines could be suspended or dismissed, the notice said.

Upcoming sorority and fraternity bid days can be held virtually only, the school said.

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RI university issues order for frats, sororities

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The University of Rhode Island has issued a two-week shelter-in-place order for fraternity and sorority houses because of a high number of coronavirus cases.

The school sent the notice Friday in tandem with its Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association.

Students may leave Greek housing only for medical visits and other essential services, such as grocery shopping and essential employment. The students will take classes virtually while sheltering.

Students and chapters that don’t follow guidelines could be suspended or dismissed.

The school says it based its decision on statistics showing a much higher rate of coronavirus positivity among students in Greek housing at over 11% than in total off-campus housing at under 4% or in the total on-campus population at 0.65%.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Trump credits antibody drug for quick recovery

— Spain declares state of emergency in Madrid to contain surge

— As virus fills French ICUs anew, doctors ask what went wrong

— British government will announce more support for businesses to retain staff in the coming months if they are forced to close because of lockdown restrictions.

— President Donald Trump says he wants to try to hold a campaign rally in Florida on Saturday, despite his recent COVID-19 diagnosis.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ALBANY, N.Y. — A federal judge has refused to block New York’s plan to temporarily limit the size of religious gatherings in COVID-19 hot spots.

U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto issued the ruling Friday after an emergency hearing in a lawsuit brought by rabbis and synagogues who said the restrictions were unconstitutional.

They had sought to have enforcement delayed until at least after Jewish holy days this weekend. The rules