Ohio college students test positive for coronavirus, throw party

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OXFORD, Ohio (NewsNation Now) — A college student house held a party over the Labor Day weekend that included people who had recently tested positive for the coronavirus, according to police body camera footage obtained by NewsNationNow.com.

Oxford police cited six men at a house near Miami University on Saturday for violating the state’s mass gathering and quarantine ordinance.

Bodycam footage shows an officer arriving at a home near the campus and finding men without masks on the porch drinking and listening to music. The incident reports states the officer heard the music playing from over 25 feet away and saw seven people standing on the porch or in the front yard.

One of the men tells police that about 20 people have gathered at the house, twice the amount of people allowed to congregate in Ohio. The officer asks the group to disperse while he runs the ID of one of the residents.

“I’ve never seen this before,” the officer is heard saying to the student after running his ID. “There’s an input on the computer that you tested positive for COVID?”

“Yes,” the student answers. He goes on to disclose that he tested positive a week before and that every single person at the party has COVID-19, including two people from the house across the street.

“Oh, God. This is what we’re trying to prevent,” the officer responds. “We want to keep this town open.”

The officer questioned why the students weren’t practicing a self-imposed quarantine for 14 days, as recommended by state and federal health officials. The student responds that the guests were just passing by.

According to the Oxford Police incident report, one of the residents of the home later stopped by the police department and expressed a desire to press trespassing charges against everyone at the house who was not a resident, and denied participating in any mass gatherings. Another resident who was cited emailed the department stating he too would like to press charges for trespass and said he was sick in bed and did not respond to the porch until he was asked to by the officer.

Gov. Mike DeWine said in a briefing Thursday that cases at Miami are the reason why Butler County remains at a level 3 on the state’s public health advisory system.

The university still plans to start in-person classes on Sept. 21. But school officials have warned that students who refuse to take a test will be denied access to campus services and will have to return to remote learning.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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