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Patrick F. Leahy, Ed.D. addresses the university community after it was announced he will serve as Monmouth University’s 10th president at Monmouth University. Asbury Park Press

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WEST LONG BRANCH - Cases of COVID-19 are spiking at Monmouth University and in response, the university has enforced stricter social distancing measures. 

The university reported 36 new cases among its student body and staff on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 85 since the school started a COVID case dashboard on Aug. 24

In an update Tuesday, which was posted to the university's website, President Patrick F. Leahy said none of the confirmed cases has resulted in hospitalization. Furthermore, he said the school hasn't seen evidence of transmission of the coronavirus from students to faculty or staff members.

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"Transmission appears to be limited to student social interactions," Leahy said. 

The university has confirmed 37 cases among its student residents, 45 among non-resident students and three among its staff. 

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Leahy said since the majority of the university's classes are already online, there will be no immediate change to academics as a result of the temporary social distancing restrictions. Dorms will also remain open.

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For the next two weeks, however, the university will be enforcing the following measures:

  • Dining services will be limited to takeout and socially distanced outdoor seating only. There will be no indoor seating. 
  • Clubs, organizations, and intramural/recreational activities will be conducted virtually. Gatherings of any kind greater than five people will be prohibited.
  • The pool and fitness center will temporarily close.
  • University athletic team activities will be restricted to supervised individual and small group training only. No formal university-sponsored athletic practices or competition will be permitted during this period.
  • The campus will temporarily close to all visitors, including prospective students and their families.
  • Properly worn masks will be required at all times on the campus — indoors and outdoors — except when eating and when sitting in a private residence hall room or in a private office.

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When Jersey Shore native Dan Radel is not reporting the news, you can find him in a college classroom where he is a history professor. Reach him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; dradel@gannettnj.com.

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