By Leah Sander
WINONA LAKE — With the COVID-19 pandemic, schools have made adjustments to keep students healthy while providing in-person instruction.
Colleges and universities are no different; in fact their responses might have to be more strict because of students living on campus.
Grace College President Dr. William Katip recently said in a update to the college community that “positive results” had come about from putting in place “some additional restrictions on campus as a result of increased cases of COVID-19 and the need to quarantine and isolate many members of our campus community.”
He detailed to InkFreeNews what those additional measures were, namely that they “temporarily suspended all athletic-related practices and competitions, canceled, postponed or redesigned many student life and residence hall activities, canceled nonessential campus events and asked that all employee meetings be conducted virtually for one week.”
He said the decision was made after the school spoke with the Kosciusko County Health Department.
Grace has listed the number of its active COVID-19 cases and the number it’s had since the beginning of the year on its website. Those numbers include those among students and faculty and staff.
As of Thursday, Oct. 22, Grace had 18 current cases and 68 total since the year’s start. Katip said at this point it looks like more students are contracting it from others on campus versus from out in the community, specifically from student groups.
He also said there have been more cases among those living on campus versus those off-campus. Students on campus and off-campus and faculty and staff are required to monitor their health for any COVID-19 symptoms.
Grace has also detailed other COVID-19 guidelines for its community on a section on its website. Those include students wearing masks in most indoor settings, restricting visitors on campus and holding larger classes in some nontraditional spaces to allow students to space out.
When on-campus students contract the virus, they quarantine in rooms the college has set aside for that purpose.
In the recent update, Katip said the college had plans in place if classes needed to go virtual, but they had no plans to do so at this point. If they had to do so, he said students could still live on campus, but have even more restricted activity. Grace’s fall semester is set to end before Thanksgiving; the school year was adjusted before the start of the semester to mitigate COVID-19 spread.