When Caroline Rose moved into her dorm at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in August, there was none of the usual frantic flurry of meeting new resident assistants and greeting old friends in hallways.
Roommates were told to move in on separate days, and everyone was told to wear masks, including in shared bathrooms. Students were given designated move-in times so there wouldn’t be a rush of people.
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Even before students got on to campus, they were instructed to sign a “stop the spread” agreement, acknowledging that they would follow guidelines to mitigate an outbreak of Covid-19, including staying in groups of no more than 10 students, or suffer consequences.
The consequences came soon enough. Less than a week after classes started the university, which has a student population of about 20,000, reported 500 coronavirus cases. In-person classes