4 students in Hecht test positive for Covid-19, 2 residential floors enter mandatory quarantine

By Inés Eisenhour and Anna Timmons

This is a developing story. More updates to follow from The Hurricane.

The University of Miami confirmed four positive cases of Covid-19 in the Hecht freshman dorms in an email message to students and staff on Friday, Aug. 21-the first message of its kind following students’ return to campus for the fall semester.

The message confirmed that the positive students have been relocated from their dorms on floors seven and eight of McDonald tower in Hecht to isolation rooms at another location.

McDonald Tower, part of Hecht Residential College is pictured midday on July 10.
McDonald Tower, part of Hecht Residential College, is pictured midday on July 10. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

The 51 other students who live on floors seven and eight are now under mandatory quarantine in their rooms. They will remain isolated until each of them have been tested to determine any other positive cases.

These students are reportedly receiving the support of the university from Student Health Services, university case managers and Housing and Residential life. The message from university communications confirmed that students are receiving delivered meals as well as academic support.

Faculty who held in-person classes with students who tested positive will only be notified if they were physically in classes 48 to 72 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or the student’s positive result, the message said.

Patricia Whitely, vice president for student affairs, told The Miami Hurricane that the university will be publishing all confirmed cases of Covid-19 on a live dashboard starting next week.

This news comes after photos and videos of large groups of students partying in the freshman dorms without masks or proper social distancing circulated around campus and social media.

One Tik Tok condemning partying going on in the freshman dorms received over 500,000 views before it was taken down.