The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has identified two new COVID-19 clusters at sorority houses.
The Phi Mu and Sigma Kappa houses, located in sorority village, were identified as clusters on Sept. 1. They are the fifth and sixth clusters identified by the university. In total, there have been five clusters identified at sorority houses.
A cluster is defined as at least five connected cases or 20 people in self-isolation stemming from one event or location, said Dr. Spencer Gregg, director of the UT Student Health Center.
The Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Delta Pi and Zeta Tau Alpha sororities have also been identified as clusters in the last several days. The first cluster at UT stemmed from an off-campus party thrown by students on Laurel Avenue.
Because of how the Zeta Tau Alpha house, the first sorority to be identified as a cluster, is set up, with shared bathrooms and living spaces, all of the residents of the house are considered close contacts, Chancellor Donde Plowman said last week.
There are 243 active COVID-19 cases and 1,253 people in self-isolation at UT as of Wednesday.
Fraternities and sorority placed on interim suspension
Plowman has repeatedly said she will not tolerate students breaking COVID-19 guidelines, including hosting parties off campus that do not follow social distancing or mask guidelines.
Five fraternities and one sorority were placed on interim suspension last week, and will be investigated for breaking COVID-19 gathering guidelines. None of the suspended organizations have been identified as clusters.
The organizations placed on interim suspension are:
- Alpha Tau Omega
- Sigma Alpha Epsilon
- Delta Tau Delta
- Pi Kappa Alpha
- Kappa Alpha
- Chi Omega