The Indiana University Health Center in Bloomington, Indiana, in June 2020. Photo: Marlena Sloss for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Indiana University urged fraternity and sorority houses at its Bloomington campus to close after three-quarters of Greek houses have been forced to quarantine with coronavirus cases on the rise.

Why it matters: At least five Greek houses are reporting positivity rates of more than 50%, while one house experienced an 87.4% positivity rate as of Aug. 31, according to the university's COVID-19 dashboard.

The big picture: IU's "alarming" positivity rate comes as colleges across the U.S. wrestle with how to manage infections.

What they're saying: "Positive cases of COVID-19 among IU Bloomington students in communal living, such as Greek houses, continue to rise at an alarming rate," the university said Thursday. "This is making it difficult to contain the spread of COVID-19 within these living environments and for houses to safely quarantine or isolate students."

  • NIAID director Anthony Fauci said earlier this week that sending students home from universities amid campus outbreaks is "the worst thing you could do."
    • "Keep them at the university in a place that's sequestered enough from the other students, but don't have them go home, because they could be spreading it in their home state," Fauci said in an NBC interview on Wednesday.

Go deeper: Colleges drive a new wave of coronavirus hotspots

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