Fraternity parties to blame for UC Berkeley coronavirus outbreak

As UC Berkeley reported a large spike in coronavirus cases, university officials say that frat parties where people didn't follow basic safety measures are to blame. The new cases could derail existing plans for the campus to open in a limited capacity.

"The majority of these new cases stem from a series of recent parties connected to theCalGreek system, which included students both within the CalGreek community and others, and led to some secondary spread within households and within other smaller gatherings," said Anna Harte, University Health Services Medical Director and Guy Nicolette, University Health Services Executive Director in a statement emailed to students.

In one week, cases jumped from 23 since the start of the pandemic to 47. Harte and Nicolette wrote that "at the rate we are seeing increases in cases, it’s becoming harder to imagine bringing our campus community back in the way we are envisioning." 

They said that the fraternity parties flouted safety protocols like physical distancing, wearing face coverings, limiting event size, and gathering outside.