KUTZTOWN, Pa. – It's not the kind of email a college student, attempting to learn during a pandemic, wants to receive, especially as a freshman.
"We were actually in class together," said freshman Paula Colletti. "We were in our first-year seminar and we got an email.
"They've been actually really good on it. They gave us an email almost every day about new cases, if it's on campus, off campus."
Kutztown University is attributing the jump in cases to off-campus gatherings. One freshman said he's seen that as an issue.
"We've been walking. Well, our friends have been walking up and back from [the] Kutztown campus, and we've been seeing a couple groups of kids go down to parties, but personally, I haven't been to one," said Jason Lepore.
The university said it has no plans to move to all-virtual learning, saying in a statement: "We had an increase in numbers today and will continue to watch the situation over the coming days. We continue to put efforts in place to curb increases."
Additionally, the borough is discussing a temporary ordinance, similar to what other college towns have done, that would help stop large gatherings off campus.
"It is to help mitigate the COVID-19 to keep people safe," said Kutztown Mayor James Schlegel. "A lot of the residents of Kutztown, permanent residents of Kutztown, are worried about what's going on, the elderly, the infirm. We have to respond to them."
So, when should a school consider altering its learning plan based on increasing COVID 19 numbers?
"I think each school has to determine that based on the information they have, their student population and how comfortable an environment they have if they can put students in an environment where they have the social distance or the space to actively do that," said Dr. Jeffrey Held, vice president of medical affairs at Penn State Health St. Joseph.