File Photo – Lake Forest College. | Provided Photo.

Nearly 30 students are in quarantine and 12 students who tested positive for COVID-19 are in isolation following an outbreak at Lake Forest College, the school said.

“I write today to emphasize that COVID-19 is still a great threat to the College. Unfortunately, a number of students have not taken the threat seriously, and they are now in isolation or quarantine,” Lake Forest College President Stephen D. Schutt said on Wednesday.

Schutt said that 12 students tested positive within the span of two days and are in isolation. Another 28 students who had close contact with one or more of the 12 are also quarantined in their rooms.

“These numbers could rise today as we complete contact tracing. A majority of the members of our men’s hockey team are now in either isolation or quarantine,” Schutt said in the letter to students.

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He said that the school has received “clear information” that a number of these students and possibly others violated school policy by visiting each other’s residence hall rooms on January 30.

“More than one student apparently believed that testing negative last Friday meant it was safe to gather with others on Saturday and ignore the rules in the Forester Commitment.”

“I want to correct that mistaken belief right away: a person can test negative on one day and test positive the next. A single negative test offers no guarantee: one could still be carrying the virus,” Schutt said.

The school is reviewing the student gatherings that took place over the weekend. Students or teams who violated the school policy will face “appropriate disciplinary consequences,” the school said.

Schutt ended the letter by warning that the spring semester could be jeopardized if more students test positive for the virus.

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