Wheaton Scenes SAPIX

Wheaton College students walk past Peacock Pond in September.

NORTON — Hit by about a dozen coronavirus cases, Wheaton College switched to remote learning on Friday.

The college announced Thursday it is putting students living on campus on modified quarantine after experiencing its largest one-day total of positive coronavirus test results.

Thirteen people tested positive — 12 students and a non-student.

The students live both on and off campus and the cases are not concentrated with any one group, the college said.

Tracing is under way to identify close contacts, it added.

Students living on campus are in modified quarantine, which means they are restricted to leaving their room to use the bathroom, picking up takeout food from dining facilities, going outside for fresh air, going to scheduled tests, attending medical appointments and working scheduled shifts off campus.

Commuter students are barred from campus along with any staff not critical to coronavirus mitigation efforts, the college said.

On-campus events are on hold along with athletic practices, and the fitness center is closed.

The college became one of the first in Massachusetts to announce it was going to hold in-person classes this fall, and for a good part of the semester the virus situation was well under control.

However, over the past seven days, with 2,261 tests administered, 14 came back positive for a rate of .62%.

Over the last 14 days, with 5,130 tests, 17 were positive for a rate of .33%.

For the entire fall semester, there were 31,134 tests, with 21 positive for a rate of just .07%.

Of those 21 who tested positive for the virus, 17 were students and four non-students.

Wheaton has about 1,700 students, and this semester 1,100 or 66% are on campus, 26% have been learning remotely, and 7.7% commute.

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

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