Swiss health authorities have ordered a quarantine for 2,500 students at a prestigious hospitality school after “significant outbreaks” of COVID-19 that are suspected to be the byproduct of off-campus partying
Authorities in Switzerland’s Vaud canton, or region, said all undergraduates at the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, known as the Lausanne Hospitality Management University in English, have been ordered to quarantine both on- and off-campus because the number of outbreaks “made a more targeted closure impossible.”
“The earliest elements of an investigation indicate that the organization of one or more parties was at the origin of these many outbreaks of infection,” the Vaud regional office said in a statement, adding that the parties seemed to take place before new containment measures in the region were announced on Sept. 15.
School administrators were taking “all necessary measures” to ensure that classes were continuing online, the statement said.
University spokesman Sherif Mamdouh said Thursday that the situation was “not ideal” but that the university took precautions in recent months. He said that 11 students had tested positive for the coronavirus and none required hospitalization.
Mamdouh said the quarantine affects 2,500 undergraduates. The university has a total student body of about 3,500, including people pursuing advanced degrees. He said hundreds of students living in on-campus dormitories on campus will be subject to the quarantine.