By Juli McDonald

BOSTON (CBS) – Emerson College will prohibit in-person student activities for at least the next week amid a spike in COVID-19 cases on campus, school officials announced Wednesday. Twenty-six members of Emerson’s community tested positive for the virus last week.

The new policy bans all in-person gatherings including athletics through at least the end of the day on April 14. The fitness center will also be closed for the next week.

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Students should only leave their residences to attend classes, study in the library in a socially distanced manner, pick up food, exercise outdoors, seek medical care or COVID testing, or to get to and from work, Emerson officials said.

“I think the school’s handling it pretty well personally. We’re still able to do both in person and online (classes). They’re doing contact tracing and we get tested twice a week,” said sophomore Naja Brown.

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Upperclassmen, who might already live with their friends and are used to college living, seem more willing to sacrifice for a greater good. Seniors especially hope this week of increased safety measures will allow for at least somewhat of a normal end to the school year.

“I am excited to have an in person graduation. I’m looking forward to that. Sounds like it’s going to be pretty safe,” said senior Kathryn Smith.

But the measures are still frustrating – especially for student athletes and underclassmen who have never experienced normal campus living.

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“It was a little baby step toward normalcy and now we’re shutting it down. It’s exhausting. You think things are getting better and then it goes back to – the horror that was last year,” said freshman Gianna Di Cristo.

Juli McDonald