University of Memphis delays plans to add in-person classes next week

COVID-19 and athletics/schools

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The University of Memphis announced Tuesday it would delay the phased return to campus set to begin Sept. 21.

In an update posted on the university’s coronavirus page, the UofM says they will keep the campus density at current levels and not add additional face-to-face classes as originally scheduled.

“We will continue to monitor available data and consider any adjustments that would increase the density on our campus only after we are sure that the rates of infection are stable or declining. A target date for the next review will be the beginning of October at the earliest,” reads the statement.

The Shelby County Health Department said Tuesday they were monitoring two separate COVID-19 clusters on the UofM campus. One is connected to the Tigers football program. University officials announced late last week activities for the football team were temporarily suspended amid transmission of the virus.

No details were released about the second cluster, but SCHD said there are currently 36 active cases among students and staff. The case count includes two clusters and additional cases not connected to either cluster. Public health officials did not provide a breakdown of the number of confirmed cases attributed to each grouping.

“It is another cluster of students who are not part of the football team and don’t seem to be fully connected to that cluster,” said David Sweat, Deputy Director of the Shelby County Health Department, “We are still building the social networks and ties between students and staff as we conduct the investigation.”

The UofM says it’s working with the county health officials to prevent any potential spread.

This story will be updated.

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