Cornell Greek life leadership have officially announced a policy that no social gatherings or parties will be allowed during the fall semester over concerns of spreading COVID-19, reports the Cornell Sun.

Returning Cornell students involved with Greek life might have already seen the writing on the wall, with several outbreaks of COVID-19 traced back to college fraternity parties and houses. One of the recents Greek life-related outbreaks was at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - which led to the school calling off in-person classes altogether.

The ban on social gatherings extends to any on or off campus event that could be associated with a Tri-council chapter. Despite the ban, the policy changes after October 5 - which allows for alcohol-free events with fewer than 30 people, as long as they comply with the university’s behavioral compact. The policy does not indicate that the 30 participant cap could change, if the University changes its guidelines.

In more Cornell related news, the university has released details for their plans to implement six more COVID-19 surveillance testing sites for undergrad students, which would begin operations on September 2nd.

The university will shift from arrival testing to surveillance testing on September 2nd. Arrival testing involves getting a sample from the back of the nose and throat, and requires healthcare personnel to administer the test.  Meanwhile, surveillance is less invasive and allows for individuals to collect their own samples, under supervision.

All undergrad students will be tested for COVID-19 twice a week going forward. Grad students, students pursuing professional degrees, staff and faculty will be tested once a week. The email also had details about how the arrival testing was going, saying that only six positive cases had been found, out of nearly 8 thousand undergraduate and graduate students tested.

Looking at the local COVID-19 caseload, the latest numbers, released Thursday from the Tompkins County health department indicate that there are no new additional positives, and no new recoveries. According to the County Health Department, that leaves 7 active cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins.

In Schuyler County, there are no new cases of COVID-19 reported as of Friday, according to their Health Department. One active case remains.

Contributing writing by News Volunteer Ed von Aderkas