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23 OSU sorority members test positive for COVID-19, house under quarantine

STILLWATER — An entire sorority house is under quarantine and isolation at Oklahoma State University.

The university confirmed Saturday that 23 members of Pi Beta Phi tested positive for COVID-19. OSU officials learned of the positive cases Friday night.

Only one member was symptomatic as of Saturday, said Monica Roberts, OSU director of media relations. No members are allowed to leave the off-campus sorority house. One member who lives outside the chapter house tested positive and is now in isolation.

A third-party contractor will disinfect the building and will do so again after the two-week quarantine period. The university and the Payne County Health Department are conducting contact tracing.

“This was expected,” Roberts said. “When you bring back 20,000 students, there will invariably be more cases related to campus. We’ve prepared for this for five months and have protocols in place to manage the situation. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our campus community and transparency in communications.”

This doubles the number of OSU students who were confirmed to have COVID-19. The university conducted mandatory COVID-19 tests on all students before they could move into their residence halls and found 22 had the virus. Students who test positive are instructed to quarantine in their dorm rooms or stay in a separate isolation room on campus.

Reports of Pi Beta Phi’s positive cases were released the same day OSU sororities celebrated the end of recruitment week. All participating sororities hosted a virtual recruitment this year in which members gathered in their chapter houses and spoke with prospective new members over video calls.

Fall semester classes are scheduled to begin Monday the university. OSU will report statistics of new COVID-19 cases weekly.

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