CHICAGO – The University of Chicago has issued a stay-at-home order for students after a coronavirus outbreak on campus.

More than 50 cases of COVID-19 involving students have been detected. Students who tested positive live in residence halls on campus and the number of cases is expected to increase, university officials added.

The University of Chicago campus also announced an immediate shift to remote learning. Dining commons will be takeout-only until further notice.

In a statement issued to staff and students, university leaders say the current outbreak is the largest cluster of cases to reach the campus since the academic year began. University officials believe the outbreak is linked to off-campus fraternity parties. The spike in campus cases may be the more contagious B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, leaders add.

The variant, first detected in the UK, is currently widespread in the Chicago area.

Moving forward, the campus has required students living in residence halls to observe a new stay-at-home period of seven days lasting until April 15.

Students who may have attended a party or gathering without a mask are asked to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

The university’s stay-at-home-order comes as Chicago experiences a spike in coronavirus cases. Health officials report nearly 600 new cases per day, up from 250 cases a day just a few weeks earlier.

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