An 18-year-old freshman at the University of Dayton died Thursday, reportedly of COVID-19-related complications.
The Roman Catholic university in Ohio announced the death of Michael Lang, a first-year student in its College of Arts and Sciences, in a message Friday addressed to students, faculty members and staff members. Lang was from LaGrange, Ill.
He died after a long hospitalization “apparently due to complications from COVID-19,” according to the message. Lang left campus Sept. 13 “to return home for remote study,” it said.
“We extend our deepest sympathy and prayers to his family, friends, professors and our campus community,” said the message, signed by Eric F. Spina, the university’s president, William M. Fischer, its vice president for student development, and Crystal Sullivan, its executive director of campus ministry. “Campus ministers, housing and residence life, and counseling staff are always available for you and for those you know who may be deeply affected by this loss.”
The university invited campus community members to light a candle of remembrance and pray for Lang in its chapel.
Students moved into University of Dayton residences over two weeks starting Aug. 8. The university has since seen several spikes and declines in COVID-19 cases detected, moving between different campus statuses indicating varying levels of outbreak containment and transitioning between in-person and remote learning.
The university’s COVID-19 dashboard lists 40 active cases and 1,374 recovered cases as of Oct. 23. It covers a period beginning Aug. 10.
No additional information is available at this time, according to Cilla Shindell, the university’s executive director of news and communications.
Lang is at least the third college student reported to have died from COVID-19 or related complications this fall. Chad Dorrill, a 19-year-old sophomore studying to become a physical therapist at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, died Sept. 28. Jamain Stephens, a 20-year-old senior who played defensive tackle on the football team at California University of Pennsylvania, died Sept. 8.
-- Rick Seltzer
Northeastern University is asking its faculty to return to campus in the spring to teach and conduct research and service.
Faculty may still request accommodations to work remotely on a case-by-case basis. Faculty who have a medical condition identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as putting them at greater risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19, as well as faculty who live with an individual with such a medical condition, may be eligible for remote work.
Northeastern said it will no longer consider a person’s age as “the sole factor” for approving remote work, but that individuals who believe they are more vulnerable due to age may raise their concerns with the human resources office.
Northeastern provost David Madigan outlined the changes to the university’s remote work policies in an email to faculty. He wrote that the Boston-based private research university “has had a successful beginning to the academic year with strong compliance across our global university system, robust testing, and extremely low positivity rates on the Boston campus.”
Madigan wrote that the new remote work policy “may be subject to change, given the evolving nature of the current coronavirus crisis, as well as university operational needs.”
-- Elizabeth Redden
Florida Memorial University, a private historically Black university in Florida, suspended in-person classes starting last Monday, Oct. 19. Classes will remain remote through the remainder of the fall semester.
The university also canceled the remainder of the men's football and soccer and women's soccer and volleyball seasons.
Florida Memorial's COVID dashboard shows 61 positive cases in September and 36 cases in October through Oct. 19, when the dashboard was last updated.
"The safety of our campus family is our greatest concern," a Florida Memorial spokeswoman said. "Our plan was to go online a few weeks later, after Thanksgiving. With South Florida experiencing spikes, returning to online learning was the prudent thing to do."
-- Elizabeth Redden
Another private historically Black university in Florida, Bethune-Cookman University, is on "lockdown" after experiencing a rise in cases.
President E. LaBrent Chrite said in a video message posted on Facebook that the university would "be curtailing any remaining student activities on campus" and institute an 11 p.m. curfew, in addition to restricting student parties and other social gatherings of more than 10 people. Bethune-Cookman is also canceling a voter rally and a planned march to the polls.
"This past Friday, we identified four positive cases," Chrite said in the video message posted last Wednesday. "On Monday of this week we had two, and yesterday nine. That trend line is neither acceptable nor sustainable, and we currently have over 30 students in isolation and quarantine on campus. Our job is to keep you safe and on campus through the 20th of November. Your job is to do your part toward that end. You must mask up and comply with the protocols we put in place."
"Listen, I know the state has reopened, but that does not give us license to behave as if things are back to normal," Chrite continued. "They are not, and we will pay a price, including going back to a fully online learning environment, if we don't do better."
-- Elizabeth Redden
The University of New England quarantined all residents of one of its dormitories on its Biddeford, Me., campus after three students contracted the virus, apparently at an off-campus event.
“Out of abundance of caution and because nearly all of the affected students reside in Featherman Hall, we have made the decision to quarantine all residents of that dormitory, at least until Tuesday,” Paul Berkner, the medical director for Student Health Services, said in a universitywide message Thursday. “This means that Featherman residents will stay inside the building, will attend classes remotely, and will receive their meals at Featherman Hall. No visitors will be permitted to enter the building. Student Health Center staff will conduct COVID-19 testing for all Featherman residents tomorrow, monitor their health over the weekend, retest them early next week, and will subsequently monitor them as circumstances dictate.”
-- Elizabeth Redden