Six Miami University students in Ohio were cited for throwing a house party a week after one of them tested positive for COVID-19, police say.
An Oxford police officer arrived at the home Saturday evening due to a noise complaint and found multiple people clustered on the front porch as loud music played, WCPO reported.
Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited in Oxford, WLWT reported. A student who lives at the residence told the officer there were roughly 20 people inside, according to the outlet.
The officer ran the student’s name through the law enforcement database and discovered the student had recently tested positive for COVID-19, both stations reported. Their conversation was captured on the officer’s body camera.
The student reportedly told the officer it had been about a week since his positive test. When the officer asked if the student was supposed to be quarantining, he replied: “That’s why I’m at my house.”
The student added that “everyone staying in the house” was also positive for COVID-19, along with some residents across the street, according to the news outlets.
When the officer told the student they’re trying to keep the town open, the student reportedly responded, “I know. That’s why I’m staying home.”
“The way I interpreted the video from the body cam footage was he felt like he was at home and quarantining like he was supposed to be and that the majority of the people that were at the house had passed by and stopped by,” Oxford police Lt. Lara Fening told WKRC.
Fening added that it was unclear if guests at the party knew that the residents at the home were positive for COVID-19, as several left when the officer arrived, according to the outlet.
“This particular case is egregious, but I think for the most part, by in large, the students have been very well behaved,” Fening told WKRC.
The students cited for violating the mass gathering ordinance each face a $500 fine, according to WLWT. Their names have not been released.
More than 1,000 Miami University students have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks, according to data from the school’s online dashboard.
University officials announced Wednesday that the school would move forward with plans for in-person classes starting Sept. 21, WXIX reported. Students returning to campus will begin a phased move-in process on Monday.
About 60% of on-campus students are expected to return, with the remainder opting for remote learning, according to WXIX.