The Delta Tau Delta fraternity house is pictured on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020 on Prince Avenue in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Sophie Yaeger, syaeger@randb.com)

The Delta Tau Delta house at the University of Georgia is under quarantine after a member attended chapter while unknowingly positive for COVID-19, said UGA Delta Tau Delta president Joseph Wargo. 

Wargo said the member was wearing a mask and social distancing, but the fraternity has “taken extra precautions” and quarantined the house for 14 days. 

During its second full week of classes, UGA’s number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 1,531 — with 821 positive cases recorded between Aug. 24-30. 

Georgia Tech’s Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter made headlines earlier in August when it shut down its fraternity house after members tested positive. An Aug. 22 post on Georgia Tech Sigma Phi Epsilon's Instagram page detailed the reasons for shutting down their house and encouraged other Greek life organizations to report positive cases. 

At both the University of South Carolina and the University of Kansas, nine Greek life residences are under quarantine, according to Newsweek and AP, respectively. 

Rumors of UGA Greek life organizations having COVID-19 outbreaks are circulating on social media, but there is no list of the organizations with confirmed cases. UGA’s only publicized COVID-19 data comes from the weekly results put out by the University Health Center.

Stan Jackson, assistant to the vice president for student affairs, said in an email Wednesday the information available to him and the public was that on the health center’s website. 

Wargo said he personally made the call to quarantine the house after learning about the potential exposure. He said the rest of the executive team was “on board” with his decision.

“We knew going into the semester that this was a possibility, if not an inevitability. So, we were prepared to do this at the first sign of COVID-19 spread,” Wargo said. 

Wargo said an additional member who lives in the house ended up testing positive for COVID-19. Because of this, the house’s quarantine has been extended. Wargo said the fraternity is also encouraging all members to get tested for coronavirus.

“Of course, we can't force [members] to do anything, but it's highly suggested that they get tested before they go back to class,” he said.

Wargo said he believes individual sorority chapters, fraternity chapters, UGA Greek life councils and the Greek Life Office are doing all they can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“Where this enforcement and guidance is lacking is from the very top of the UGA administration, and this lack of enforcement and really just refusal to [create] dialogue openly with the student body has led to this return to school being such a mess at UGA,” Wargo said.

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