Nearly 50 coronavirus cases at College of Europe in Bruges
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Nearly 50 coronavirus cases at College of Europe in Bruges

Credit: Athenchen/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Nearly 50 students at the College of Europe in Bruges are positive for the new coronavirus following an outbreak detected at the school at the start of the week.

Bruges Mayor Drik De fauw said that the positive case count among students now sat at 46 after 24 additional cases were confirmed in recent days.

On Monday the College, which trains future European Union officials and bureaucrats, sent its entire student body into quarantine after 22 students tested positive for the virus, in a decision supported by city authorities.

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De fauw said that the students must respect a two-week quarantine despite recent announcements at the national level that quarantines would be halved in October.

“The National Security Council (NSC) ordered to shorten the quarantine to seven days but we will stick to two weeks for complete safety,” De fauw said.

Police have been ordered to enforce the quarantine on the school’s 350 students, who are only allowed to leave their homes for essential trips such to the pharmacy or food shops.

Students who are among the 46 to have tested positive cannot leave their rooms at all and must arrange for groceries to be brought to them, De Standaard reports.

A contact tracing procedure has also been launched in efforts to stem the virus’ spread in the small and touristic city.

“We are investigating whether students have been to a cafe or a restaurant and where they have been exactly. This way we can limit infections in the city,” the mayor said.

De fauw’s decision to bypass the announce relaxations comes after several Flemish universities also ordered their students and staff to stick to stricter rules in efforts to prevent the emergence of clusters.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times