HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Quinnipiac University officials have sent home students who attended a Thursday evening party at Anthony’s Ocean View that allegedly violated COVID-19 restrictions.
QU officials reported that they had, so far, sent home 20 students who were discovered to have attended a Halloween party at the New Haven venue Thursday night.
Friday night, New Haven health department officials raided and shut down Anthony’s Ocean View for allegedly violating the city’s COVID-19 restrictions by throwing that party Thursday night.
In videos of the party sent in to News 8 by a viewer, it is clear hundreds of attendees are not social distancing or wearing masks.
Those videos were key to the health department’s investigation of the violation.
Earlier that day, Mayor Justin Elicker announced the city’s businesses would be immediately reverting from Phase 3 COVID-19 restrictions to Phase 2. In Phase 2, indoor capacity is lowered from 75% to 50%.
In a letter to the QU community Sunday, President Judy Olian and Chief Experience Office Tom Ellett said, “Beyond ignoring medical advice to protect one’s own health, we are incredibly disappointed by such behavior that blatantly disregards the well-being of fellow Bobcats and our larger community. The university has decided to send these students home for the remainder of the semester given the potential health implications for our QU community. The investigation is ongoing, and any additional students identified who attended this event also will be sent home.”
They went on to say, “As a precaution, we will increase our sample testing in clusters of students identified as peers of attendees at the event to facilitate rapid containment efforts.”
They said they understand they may not be able to identify every student who attended the party, so they ask those who did attend to self-quarantine and attend classes remotely for a week.
We spoke with a recent QU grad who didn’t wish to be on camera but says it’s good the university is taking steps to better protect everyone.
“It’s just crazy that the small [number] of people who don’t care about it or think it’s actually real. They are ruining it for everybody. I’m still friends with a lot of kids, who are juniors and seniors, and they really don’t seem to think that COVID will bother them at Quinnipiac,” she told News 8.
The students who were sent home are able to take classes remotely, but they have been suspended from all on-campus activities.
There were reports of students from other local universities in attendance Thursday. News 8 reached out to New Haven-area universities and colleges.
The University of New Haven responded by saying, “The University of New Haven will not comment on specific incidents or specific student discipline, but we continue to take quick and decisive action against any student behavior that violates state mandates or the university’s COVID-19 protocol.”
READ: Full letter from Quinnipiac to school community regarding Anthony’s Ocean View party attendance
Dear QU community,
An event was held on Thursday evening at Anthony’s Ocean View attended by college students from multiple universities. We have verified that among the attendees were students from QU, that masks were not worn, social distancing wasn’t practiced, and total attendance exceeded public health guidelines. The banquet facility has been shut down until further notice by the local health department.
Our offices of Public Safety and Student Affairs have been investigating particulars of the event throughout the weekend and already have spoken with numerous student organizations and individuals to ascertain more details. As of this afternoon, we have confirmed the identity of approximately 20 QU students who attended the event.
Beyond ignoring medical advice to protect one’s own health, we are incredibly disappointed by such behavior that blatantly disregards the well-being of fellow Bobcats and our larger community. The university has decided to send these students home for the remainder of the semester given the potential health implications for our QU community. The investigation is ongoing, and any additional students identified who attended this event also will be sent home.
If you have any information about the event or attendees, please leave a message on our hotline at 203-582-4333; information can be anonymous and will be kept strictly confidential.
We understand that we may not identify every individual who attended this event.
Out of great care and concern for fellow students, faculty, staff, and the community, we are requiring anyone else who was at the event to self-quarantine in their residence and attend classes remotely this entire week.
As a precaution, we will increase our sample testing in clusters of students identified as peers of attendees at the event to facilitate rapid containment efforts.
This conduct is deeply disheartening. It is not representative of the overwhelming majority of our students who have worked very hard to safeguard their health and that of others this semester, and who observed the Halloween weekend responsibly. We are in the final stretch before the Thanksgiving break — let’s get there together in good health. Be well.– Judy Olian, President and Tom Ellett, Chief Experience Office