The rash of cases has been linked to at least two off-campus parties, and the majority of students testing positive are senior undergraduates, mostly male, said school spokesman Paul Browne.

In remarks he was slated to deliver Tuesday afternoon, Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins is announcing that if the number of cases continues to climb, he could order students to leave campus and return home. He may decide to take that step before the two-week period is over.

Notre Dame set up an extensive testing system as part of its efforts to bring students back on campus. All of the nearly 12,000 students were tested before they returned to campus to start class on Aug. 10. Of that group just 33 students (0.28%) tested positive.

Since their return to campus, the rate of positive tests has climbed as the school has concentrated on testing students with symptoms of the virus. Through Monday, 927 students had been tested and 147 were positive, or nearly 16%.