After His Own COVID Misstep, Notre Dame Leader Scolds Students

Jenkins 'very disappointed' after students rush football field to celebrate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2020 12:43 PM CST

(Newser) – The president of Notre Dame—who tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a White House event—says he was "very disappointed" to see students ignoring social distancing rules after the Fighting Irish scored a massive win Saturday night. Thousands of fans, some not wearing masks, rushed the field and engulfed players after the team's double-overtime win over Clemson, the Washington Post reports. In a letter to students Sunday night, the Rev. John Jenkins said all students will now be required to undergo virus testing before they leave for the winter break, reports the AP. Students who don't show up for tests, or leave the South Bend, Indiana, area before they receive test results, will be banned from registering for classes next semester. The current semester is due to end after final exams Nov. 16-20.

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The 47-40 victory was Notre Dame's first win over a No. 1 team in 27 years. "As exciting as last night’s victory against Clemson was, it was very disappointing to see evidence of widespread disregard of our health protocols at many gatherings over the weekend," wrote Jenkins. He said the strict new measures are "critical for your health, as well as the health of our campus, our local community, and the communities to which you will travel for break," per the Notre Dame Observer. Last month, the Student Senate issued a formal disapproval of Jenkins for failing to wear a mask or observe social distancing at the White House event. "I failed to lead by example at a time when I’ve asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so," he wrote in an apology. (Read more Notre Dame stories.)

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