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COVID-19: Colleges grapple with quarantine policies as U.S. cases reach 6.46M

Students move in at Saint Louis University on August 19. University campuses have been dealing with outbreaks of coronavirus since resuming classes last month. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Students move in at Saint Louis University on August 19. University campuses have been dealing with outbreaks of coronavirus since resuming classes last month. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Colleges grappled with increased COVID-19 case counts on campus while numbers in many Southern and Great Plains states increased this week.

As of Saturday, 193,320 people in the United States have died of the novel coronavirus and at least 6.46 million have been infected, according to Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 tracker.

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North Dakota saw the highest case increase this week, with 1,710 new positive tests this week, according to The New York Times' COVID-19 tracker. The state has reported 14,687 cases since the pandemic began.

Case counts also increased in South Dakota, Missouri and Iowa -- as well as the U.S. territory of Guam.

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The rate of deaths due to the virus is also up in Guam this week, as well as in several southern states: 112 people died in Mississippi this week, 167 in Louisiana and 182 in South Carolina.

Health officials in Michigan have recommended all Michigan State University students self-quarantine immediately to contain a coronavirus outbreak on campus that has infected at least 342 people since Aug. 24.

"This is an urgent situation," Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail said in a statement. "The exponential growth of COVID-19 cases must stop. I am concerned about the health and safety of the MSU community, and importantly, I am seriously concerned that unchecked transmission locally will affect the health and safety of all Ingham County residents. If we do not slow the spread immediately, we will be dealing with the consequences across the county for months to come."

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The health department asked that those who have been on the campus should self-quarantine until Sept. 26, and has warned there will be stringent and mandatory restrictions should students fail to comply.

And police fined a group of students at Ohio's Miami University, who were caught on camera hosting a large house party over Labor Day weekend in violation of quarantine rules. More than 1,100 students at the school have tested positive for coronavirus since classes began in mid-August.

According to body camera footage from an officer who came to the house, one of the party's hosts admitted that he and his housemates had all tested positive for COVID-19 just one week prior -- and that several of the 20 guests at the event were positive for the virus as well.

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The five men who lived in the house were each fined $500, as was one of the party guests.

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Mannequins with face masks and designer clothing fill a window at a Diane Von Furstenberg store in New York City on September 8, 2020. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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