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Four UT students could be expelled for violating COVID-19 safety guidelines

A cluster of COVID-19 cases was traced back to an off-campus party last week.

Four students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will face disciplinary action for not adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.

According to UTK Chancellor Donde Plowman, the students violated the student Code of Conduct by endangering the health, safety, and welfare of others. Three of them hosted off-campus parties with no social distancing or consistent mask use. The fourth student knew they were positive for COVID-19 but left isolation to gather with other students off campus.

"If the facts reported to the university are accurate, these students will face at least suspension from the university, and potentially greater penalties," Plowman said.

Last week, Plowman confirmed a cluster of cases related to an off-campus house party on Laurel Avenue last Tuesday and said she would not hesitate to hold those students responsible.

"I communicated last week that students who do not comply with the Student Code of Conduct as it relates to keeping people safe in a pandemic will be held accountable for their actions. As a member of the university community, you are responsible for knowing and complying with the code," she continued.

As of August 23, UT was reporting 128 students and 8 employees who tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, 444 students and staff members were being quarantined for exposure.

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