Nearly 640 US university students sanctioned for breaking coronavirus rules

Physical distancing marks for queue lines are seen in the George Sherman Union (of students) at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, the United States, on Sept. 4, 2020. (Photo by Wu Tongyangzi/Xinhua)

Nearly 640 students at the University of Alabama and three student organizations in the United States have been sanctioned for violating the school's regulations on COVID-19.

A fourth organization is facing suspension, a university spokesperson said on Thursday.

The university said in a statement it "has issued 639 individual student sanctions as of Sept. 8."

"Student suspensions could range in length depending on the severity of the conduct," the university added.

For students, the first violation will result in a letter documenting the infraction while a second violation will receive a formal conduct charge and a "disciplinary warning, which will be reflected on their student disciplinary record."

The university introduced a guideline to prevent COVID-19 infections last month, which included the use of face coverings, social distancing and the restriction of large gatherings.

Coronavirus cases at the university have continued to climb since on-campus classes started on Aug. 19. According to the school's COVID-19 dashboard, the total number of cases since in-person classes began is at least 1,889.