Covid-19 Live Updates: Colleges are Suspending Students Over Virus Safety Violations

‘No second chances’: Colleges are coming down hard on students who violate virus restrictions.

As colleges and universities across the country grapple with rising coronavirus infections, they are increasingly disciplining newly returned students for violating pandemic safety rules, and pressuring fraternities and sororities to stop holding events that violate bans on partying.

At the Ohio State University, 228 students have received interim suspensions for violating rules against large gatherings during the pandemic, the university said on Tuesday. Most of the students were living off campus, and have been asked to remain away from campus until their cases have been adjudicated; some have already been reversed. Violators who live on campus could lose their university housing if their cases are deemed serious enough, the school said.

Montclair State University in New Jersey, which reopened its dorms this month and began classes Tuesday, said it had already suspended 11 students from living in university housing for gathering without masks or social distance.

“Please understand, there will be no second chances,” school officials warned students in a text message sent over the weekend. “Any student who violates the safety protocols will be immediately suspended from housing (possibly for the remainder of the year), will be referred to the director of student conduct for disciplinary action and will be immediately de-registered from any courses or programs that have an on-campus component.”

Syracuse University suspended 23 students last week after a gathering on the campus quad that the dean of students decried as “incredibly reckless.” Thirty-six students were suspended by Purdue University after a party at a cooperative house. Penn State University suspended a fraternity for holding an unsanctioned social, and Drake University banned at least 14 students from campus for two weeks for partying.

In Florida, the president of the University of Miami, Julio Frenk, said the school had begun evicting students from dorms for violations, warning in a video that the university — which has had 141 cases since the start of the school year — would continue to monitor student behavior on and off campus.

“We will not hesitate to enforce disciplinary procedures when measures aimed at protecting university students, faculty and staff are flouted,” said Dr. Frenk, who formerly was Mexico’s minister of health.

The president of Florida Gulf Coast University, Mike Martin, announced interim suspensions of two fraternities on Monday over parties that were held Friday night in violation of the school’s health guidelines, “posing a serious and direct threat to the safety and well-being of the campus community.”

Central Michigan University directed its fraternities and sororities to cancel all in-person activities on Monday after a week in which 54 students tested positive for the virus, with clusters concentrated in two Greek-affiliated houses and a third large off-campus house.

Outbreaks have emerged at campuses across the country as students have streamed back for fall classes. Many have been linked to large gatherings that were held despite state, local and campus public health rules. Among the recent reports: 566 cases among students, faculty and staff at the University of Alabama, most of them on its Tuscaloosa campus, where classes resumed last week, and 43 new cases at the University of Southern California, which is holding online classes but giving students limited access to campus.

All told, The New York Times has identified more than 23,000 coronavirus cases on 750 campuses since the pandemic began in the late winter and spring.

In other education news:

  • To help improve poor ventilation in New York City’s aging public school buildings, the mayor said Tuesday that city inspectors would assess every classroom and not allow the inadequately ventilated ones to reopen. About 10,000 portable air filters will be installed in nurses’ offices, isolation rooms and other high-risk areas, he said. Many principals and teachers in the city say they do not believe the buildings will be ready by the scheduled start of classes on Sept. 10, and have urged the mayor to push reopening back a few weeks.

  • A Florida judge ruled on Monday that the state’s requirement that public schools open their classrooms for in-person instruction violates the state’s Constitution because it “arbitrarily disregards safety” and strips local school boards of the authority to decide when students can safely return. The ruling was immediately stayed when the state filed an appeal.

Two more cases of reinfection with the coronavirus were reported in Europe on Tuesday, a day after a 33-year-old man in Hong Kong was confirmed to have been infected a second time.

In all three cases, researchers compared genetic material from both rounds of infection and confirmed that the patients were not just carrying remnants of dead virus left over from the first illness.

The new cases were announced by European researchers. The data have not been published in any form as yet.

Experts told The Times on Monday that reinfections with the virus are not surprising, though not believed to be common. As with most other respiratory viruses, including common-cold coronaviruses and influenza, one bout with the new coronavirus may provoke an immune response that may not prevent a second infection — but nonetheless is likely to mute symptoms the second time around.

One of the new reinfection cases was an older person in the Netherlands with a weakened immune system, researchers said. The other patient, in Belgium, was a woman who had only mild symptoms in March and became infected again in June.

The man in Hong Kong, too, had only mild symptoms and did not develop detectable antibodies after the first infection. Even so, he had no symptoms at all the second time and his case was found only by routine screening at an airport. His case suggests that even people who did not produce a strong antibody response to an initial case may be protected from becoming seriously ill if exposed to the virus again, experts have said.

Some news reports have speculated that the cases raise questions about the effectiveness of vaccines for preventing coronavirus infection. But experts have said the opposite: Vaccines can be designed to elicit immunity that’s stronger and longer lasting than that resulting from natural infection.

“In order to provide herd immunity, a potent vaccine is needed to induce immunity that prevents both reinfection and disease,” Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University, told The Times on Monday.

The F.D.A. ‘grossly misrepresented’ plasma data, scientists say.

Facing an uptick in cases, the city of Danbury, Conn., has closed public boat launches to prevent the spread of the virus among boaters on a popular lake, Mayor Mark Boughton said on Tuesday.

Connecticut has also closed a boat ramp it operates nearby, in an effort to curb parties held on the water or in nearby parking lots, Gov. Ned Lamont said at a news conference with the mayor.

“We want to make sure that we can slow the spread,” Mr. Boughton said.

On Friday, officials in Connecticut issued a public health warning for Danbury, a city of about 84,000 people near the New York border, that urged residents to stay home when possible and limit gatherings. The move came after 178 new cases were reported in the city in the first 20 days of August, more than quadruple the figure for the prior two weeks.

In response, Danbury’s public schools will reopen with remote learning on Sept. 8 and will re-evaluate on Oct. 1 whether to allow some in-person learning.

So far, public health officials have linked the cases to domestic and international travel, live services held at places of worship and contact on athletic fields, Mr. Boughton said. They also remained concerned over large family gatherings.

The governor said that the uptick had not spread to parts of the state beyond Danbury.

A state legislator, David Arconti, said that cases appeared to have risen in neighborhoods of Danbury that lost power for days after Tropical Storm Isaias ripped through the New York region. He and other officials were exploring a possible connection, he said.

Mr. Lamont said the state would monitor other municipalities that had been hard hit by power outages to see if they saw an uptick similar to Danbury’s.

President Trump and his political allies mounted a fierce and misleading defense of his political record on the first night of the Republican convention on Monday, while unleashing a barrage of attacks on Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the Democratic Party that were unrelenting in their bleakness.

Hours after Republican delegates formally nominated Mr. Trump for a second term, the president and his party made plain that they intended to engage in sweeping revisionism about Mr. Trump’s management of the coronavirus pandemic, his record on race relations and much else.

A team of New York Times reporters followed the developments and fact-checked the speakers, providing context and explanation.

At times, the speakers and prerecorded videos appeared to be describing an alternate reality: one in which the nation was not nearing 180,000 deaths from the coronavirus; in which Mr. Trump had not consistently ignored serious warnings about the disease; and in which someone other than Mr. Trump had presided over an economy that began crumbling in the spring.

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, praised his father’s management of the pandemic in one of several segments asserting an unsupported narrative that the president had been a sturdy leader in a crisis even as polls show Americans believe he has handled the pandemic poorly.

“As the virus began to spread, the president acted quickly and ensured ventilators got to hospitals that needed them most,” the president’s son said, making no mention of the millions of Americans sickened and killed or the complaints from governors that they were not receiving the necessary equipment. “There is more work to do, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Another defense of Mr. Trump’s management of the pandemic took the form of a video that criticized the news media, Democrats and the World Health Organization, and presented a greatly distorted version of Mr. Trump’s record, casting him as a decisive leader against Democrats who had minimized the threat of the disease. The video featured three clips of Democratic governors, including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, praising Mr. Trump in the spring, when state executives were pleading with the federal government for help and taking exceptional pains to stay on the president’s good side.

Mr. Trump’s first appearance in the evening program came in a brief segment that showed him at the White House interacting with frontline workers, who related their experiences in the health crisis. Mr. Trump largely deferred to the other speakers and prompted them to make comments — “Please, go ahead,” he said repeatedly — though he interjected his own commentary about the drug hydroxychloroquine, which the president had promoted aggressively as a remedy for the coronavirus despite no consensus among doctors that it was effective.

Elsewhere in the U.S.:

To South Korean students and parents, the ​national college-entrance exams are of paramount importance. Students endure years of cramming for the written tests​, which determine which universities they can enter. Diplomas from elite universities often decide the students’ career prospects.​ On the day of the exam, the Air Force cancel​s all of its flights for fear ​their noise might disrupt students.

As the epidemic surged again, concern has​ grown about whether the exams can proceed, or whether they should be conducted online. Ms. Yoo said on Tuesday that online exams ​will be all but impossible because of potential problems like cheating.

“The priority is to quickly stem the spread of transmissions and stabilize the situation, if only to hold the Dec. 3 national college entrance exam as planned without disruption,” she said.

The new outbreak started at Sarang Jeil Church in Seoul, where a worshiper tested positive on Aug. 12. So far, 915 infections have been found among church members and their contacts. Nationwide, 3,285 cases have been reported since Aug. 12, 193 of them students or teachers in the Seoul metropolitan area.

In other news from around the world:

An ambassador from Uganda is accused of plotting to divert money from the pandemic fight.

Uganda has recalled its ambassador to Denmark and her deputy after allegations that they were plotting to steal funds allocated to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The ambassador, Nimisha Madhvani, and her deputy, Elly Kamahungye, were recorded devising ways to share the money along with other embassy staff members. During the conversation, the group is heard talking about paying themselves “per diems” and discussing how much they should receive in total.

“Instead of calling it Covid, we will do it as an allowance,” Mr. Kamahungye is heard saying.

Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the allegations “grave” and said it would carry out a “thorough investigation” into the matter.

“Any deviation by any officer will be met with appropriate sanctions,” Patrick S. Mugoya, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The news from Uganda came days after demonstrations in Kenya by protesters who accused government officials of the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars aimed at fighting the pandemic.

Hundreds of Kenyan doctors in public hospitals have also gone on strike over what they say is shoddy protective gear, delayed salaries and a lack of medical insurance. Thousands more are expected to join them if authorities do not improve their working conditions.

On Monday, a court in the Somali capital Mogadishu also sentenced four officials, some for as many as 18 years, for diverting thousands of dollars of Covid-19 funds.

Working remotely from another state? You might be facing a big tax bill.

If you decided to ride out the pandemic at your out-of-state vacation house or with your parents in the suburbs, you may be in for an unpleasant reality: a hefty tax bill.

Given the complexity of state tax laws, accountants are advising their clients to track the number of days they spend working out of state. Some states impose income tax on people who work there for as little as a single day.

Even before the pandemic, conflicting state tax rules were creating issues for the increasing number of people who were working remotely, said Edward Zelinsky, a tax professor at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law.

“In the last six months, this has gone from a big problem to a humongous problem,” Mr. Zelinsky said. He knows from personal experience: He lives in Connecticut but works in New York, and has paid tax on his New York-based salary to both states.

Reporting was contributed by Gillian R. Brassil, Alexander Burns, Stephen Castle, Choe Sang-Hun, Abdi Latif Dahir, Sheri Fink, Michael Gold, Jenny Gross, Javier C. Hernández, Shawn Hubler, Mike Ives, Annie Karni, David Leonhardt, Apoorva Mandavilli, Jonathan Martin, Tiffany May, Claire Cain Miller, Amelia Nierenberg, Adam Pasick, Elian Peltier, Monika Pronczuk, Eliza Shapiro, Eileen Sullivan, Katie Thomas, Katherine J. Wu and Elaine Yu.