Eleven first-year students have been dismissed by Northeastern University after they were found violating its coronavirus-related public health protocols by meeting up in a Boston hotel room, according to the school.
The gathering was discovered on Wednesday night by two university staff members who were making the rounds at the Westin Hotel, which is currently being used as a temporary dorm, the school said in a post on its website.
The students, who were enrolled in a study-abroad experience, were given notice on Friday that they have 24 hours to vacate the property. They will no longer be allowed to continue their fall semester, though they have the right to contest their dismissal at an expedited hearing, according to the school.
“Northeastern and its community of students, faculty, and staff take violations of health and safety protocols very seriously,” Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice chancellor for student affairs at Northeastern, said in a statement.
“Cooperation and compliance with public health guidelines is absolutely essential. Those people who do not follow the guidelines—including wearing masks, avoiding parties and other gatherings, practicing healthy distancing, washing your hands, and getting tested—are putting everyone else at risk."
“Testing negative for COVID-19 is not enough,” Estabrook continued. “We must practice all of the public health guidelines in order to keep ourselves and the community healthy. Together, we can keep each other safe, but it will require everyone’s consistent cooperation.”
The 11 students will be tested for COVID-19 before their departure. Should they test positive for the novel coronavirus, they will be moved into "wellness housing" for recovery, the school said on its website.
There are currently 818 students living in two-person rooms at the hotel where the gathering took place, according to Northeastern.
Previously, Estabrook warned students in an email on Aug. 28 that those "who host an unsafe (no masks and without healthy distancing) gathering, social or party, either on or off-campus can expect suspension."
RELATED: Dr. Anthony Fauci Issues Labor Day Weekend Warning to Avoid "Surge" in COVID-19 Cases
Dr. Anthony Fauci Issues Labor Day Weekend Warning to Avoid "Surge" in COVID-19 Cases
Dr. Fauci is issuing a warning for the upcoming holiday weekend
"Students who attend an unsafe gathering, social or party, either on or off-campus, can expect suspension," the email read.
According to data from the school's COVID-19 dashboard, 17 students have tested positive for coronavirus as of Thursday. Northeastern has reported two other positive cases within staff members and one positive case from a contract employee.
As of Friday, there have been at least 6,204,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with 187,300 deaths from coronavirus-related illnesses, according to a New York Times database.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.