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Faith-based college in Kona isolating student body after COVID outbreak

United Nations of Kona campus
United Nations of Kona campus(YWAM Kona)
Updated: Oct. 5, 2020 at 5:54 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Students at a Christian college on Hawaii Island are being told to isolate due to a growing outbreak of COVID cases.

The University of the Nations Kona says 22 students and eight staff members are now infected with the virus.

A spokesperson says the outbreak was traced to a recent case in the community, and not tied to a group of about 300 students that arrived on the island in late September.

“Mayor Kim asked us if we could isolate the entire campus. So essentially our entire campus is on lockdown. Everyone is in their dorm rooms, you know, in place. And they’re gonna help us test the entire campus hopefully tomorrow," university spokesperson Johnny Gillespie said.

The university says none of the infected students are experiencing severe symptoms. Mass testing will begin this week to help track those who may be carrying the virus.

“We’re working closely with Department of Health right now. They’ve offered to test our entire campus so we can get a very clear picture if there has been any additional spread," Gillespie said. "Isolate anyone else who would be at risk.”

The faith-based school averages about 1,200 students per year.

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