The hospitality management school 'Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne' in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The hospitality management school 'Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne' in Lausanne, Switzerland.
PIC: Associated Press

Swiss health authorities have ordered a quarantine for 2,500 students at a prestigious hospitality management school in the city of Lausanne after "significant outbreaks" of COVID-19 that are a suspected byproduct of off-campus partying.

Authorities in Switzerland's Vaud canton, or region, said all undergraduates at the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, known as the Lausanne Hospitality Management University in English, have been ordered to quarantine both on- and off-campus because the number of outbreaks "made a more targeted closure impossible."

The World Health Organisation, national health authorities and others have cautioned that young people, who tend to have milder COVID-19 symptoms have been a key driver for the continued spread of the coronavirus in recent weeks, particularly in Europe.

"The earliest elements of an investigation indicate that the organization of one or more parties was at the origin of these many outbreaks of infection," the Vaud regional office said in a statement, adding that the parties seemed to take place before new containment measures in the region were announced on Sept. 15.

University spokesman Sherif Mamdouh said Thursday that 11 students had tested positive.

Mamdouh said the quarantine affects 2,500 undergraduates. The university has a total student body of about 3,500, including people pursuing advanced degrees. He said hundreds of students living in on-campus dormitories on campus will be subject to the quarantine.

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