CSS limiting social, non-class gatherings due to increase in COVID-19 cases | www.WDIO.com

CSS limiting social, non-class gatherings due to increase in COVID-19 cases

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: October 08, 2020 09:20 PM

The College of St. Scholastica is making changes to some campus activities due to the increase of positive COVID-19 cases.

This only affects social and non-class gatherings. The college has an alert level dashboard that helps them evaluate the current state of COVID-19 on campus and the area to take steps to keep the campus community safe.

The change in "Alert Level" is based on the 19 new cases that happened between Sept. 24-Sept. 30. Currently CSS has 16 active cases.

As of Wednesday the alert level moved from low to a medium. The dashboard is a 14-day rolling count of COVID-19 positive tests of employees and students. Recently, the percentage moved from under 1 percent to slightly over 1 percent.

As a result, the college is making some modifications to mitigate the situation.

"It will not change our academic programming because we're really not seeing issues of covid within our academic structure but where we will see a change within our campus community is for social gatherings events and other forms of activities," said Mike Turner, the CSS safety and security manager.

This will only impact student life activities for both indoor and outdoor events, with attendance limited to ten people or less.

Program directors responsible for these activities will shift these events to comply with the new alert level.

"As an R-A it's definitely gonna be a challenge to brainstorm ideas of how we can still get students out and create that sense of belonging and community on campus," said Emily Kiemele, a senior at CSS.

Turner said the college is going to continue monitoring developing situations on campus and hopes this medium level will be short-lived.

"I feel confident though that our community is going to work together to help mitigate any developing situations," said Turner.

Turner said COVID-19 cases are monitored by Student Health Services. Staff are able to do testing on campus. CSS also has an internal contact tracing group that works with Student Health Services.

Everyone on campus is finding creative, alternative ways to continue engaging students in positive and safe activities. An example is 56 Night Events. They take place every Friday and Saturday night by CSS clubs during the school year, providing a free and fun environment for students to participate in.

"We're obviously doing a lot of things virtually and setting up our online platforms. A lot of clubs on campus have been doing take and go activities where they'll create like a kit of something for a student so they can physically do an activity at home," said Kiemele.

Staff and students said it has been a team effort to keep everyone safe on campus during this health pandemic.

"Overall it feels like the common consensus on campus is that people care and really are trying their best to adhere by all the guidelines," said Kiemele.

To access the other local college and university COVID-19 dashboards, click here.


Alejandra Palacios

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