▶ Watch Video: Dozens of students from the University of Southern California test positive for COVID-19

At least 43 University of Southern California students living in off-campus housing have tested positive for the coronavirus, CBS Los Angeles reports. The 43 cases occurred among students living in the University Park campus community, the school disclosed in a letter to students’ families.

More than 100 students have been asked to quarantine. The outbreak was first reported by the USC student newspaper and has since been posted on the university’s website. USC said 14 positive cases of COVID-19 were identified through asymptomatic population testing and 29 cases through contact tracing and testing of symptomatic and exposed individuals.

“For students who remain on or near campus in shared living arrangements, we strongly advise you to act with caution and strictly follow all guidelines for physical distancing (6 feet), avoiding gatherings with others outside your home, wearing face coverings around others to protect against respiratory droplets, and proceed with high adherence to hand hygiene and frequent surface contact cleaning,” the university suggested.

USC began its fall semester last week with nearly all its classes in a virtual format, the only exception being for clinical education.

Students who are living nearby are asked to get tested on a regular basis through the school’s partnership with a COVID-19 testing company. California has reported more than 668,000 cases of the coronavirus and more than 12,000 deaths since the pandemic began earlier this year, according to state health officials. Globally, more than 810,000 people have died from the coronavirus, per a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Last week, the University of Notre Dame — one of the country’s wealthiest and most prestigious religious colleges — abruptly canceled all in-person classes and moved to fully online instruction for at least two weeks after it reported a surge of COVID-19 infections. Campus officials pinned the increase of cases to an off-campus party where face coverings weren’t used and social distancing measures were not practiced.

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