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Campus Covid Outbreak Strikes Fraternity

Seven members of an Ohio Wesleyan fraternity contracted Covid last week causing an immediate quarantine of the students.

Sigma Phi Epsilon, one of the six chapters at Ohio Wesleyan, had members contract the virus. Campus protocols required the members to immediately quarantine. While some students on campus were nervous about the outbreak on campus, people within the university believe this is just another yearly occurrence.

Angel Tyler, a residential life coordinator who helps students move into their quarantine spaces, expressed how the university is experienced with these situations.

“We traditionally see a rise in positive COVID cases towards the beginning weeks of the semester. Students are coming back to campus after traveling or being at home which includes visiting their family and friends and often going out to more public, crowded places.”

While the university does have a procedure in place for outbreaks, that doesn’t mean it can prevent the spread of the virus on campus. The fraternity was hit quickly with all seven positive cases occurring within a 24-hour period. Only when all of the positive members moved into isolation did the spread of positive cases stop.

Ethan Brooker, a member and former president of the fraternity, did not contract the virus but said the illnesses created a tense feeling within the fraternity.

“When everyone started reporting their positive cases to the rest of the fraternity, the house almost stood still. Some guys were really hesitant to leave their rooms during that 24-hour span because they didn’t want to get sick either.”

One fraternity member who did contract the virus said he was shocked at how quickly it had spread throughout the house.

“On Wednesday everyone seemed completely fine, just hanging out and going about their business as usual. But by the time Thursday afternoon had rolled around, everything had turned on its head. No one really knew who had it and who didn’t,” said the member who wished to remain anonymous.

The fraternity has reported no more positive cases. As of this past Wednesday, Sigma Phi Epsilon had all of its brothers back in the fraternity house and out of isolation. The once-quarantined members were free to return to class and other on-campus activities.

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