SHARE
A student per­forms a daily health check. Kalli Dal­rymple | Col­legian

After a week of in-person classes, no Hillsdale College stu­dents have tested pos­itive for COVID-19, according to Dean of Men Aaron Petersen. Five stu­dents who showed symptoms have tested neg­ative, and five more cur­rently await test results.

“I think the stu­dents came here ready to do their part, espe­cially with all the pre­cau­tionary mea­sures to help us get through these first two weeks,” Petersen said. “For the most part, it’s been a spirit of coop­er­ation and cau­tiousness. I look forward to when we can get back to normal.” 

Pres­ident Larry Arnn and college admin­is­trators have asked stu­dents to wear masks on campus and to practice social dis­tancing. Stu­dents also undergo daily tem­per­ature checks. Those with normal tem­per­a­tures receive color-coded stickers which must be dis­played while on campus in order to enter the dining hall.

In addition, 63 cross-country, golf, and tennis ath­letes and coaches have tested neg­ative for the virus, according to Ath­letic Director Don Brubacher. The NCAA required all student ath­letes to be tested when they arrived on campus, even if they did not show symptoms of coro­n­avirus. 

Student ath­letes must receive addi­tional tem­per­ature tests before prac­tices, games, and meets. Those who report “any symptom what­soever” and at any time are imme­di­ately tested, Brubacher said.

“We test one or two every day so we can be certain about it,” he added.

Simpson Res­i­dence Head Res­ident Advisor Barrett Moore, a senior, said every dorm has been tasked with making sure all res­i­dents get their tem­per­a­tures checked in the morning before leaving for class. 

“We offer morning tem­per­ature tests at 7:15 a.m., 7:45 a.m., and 8:30 a.m., and the RA’s have a rotation for that,” Moore said. 

“Everyone gets up for at least one check,” Moore said. “Right now, to a degree, everyone’s morning is cen­tered around doing that before doing what you need to do.”

Like Simpson, other dor­mi­tories and Greek houses require daily testing, with house moms and res­ident assis­tants con­ducting tem­per­ature and symptom checks.Testing is per­formed on a rolling basis, giving stu­dents mul­tiple oppor­tu­nities for a health check no matter where they live. In the Pi Beta Phi sorority, room­mates are required to sleep with their heads at opposite sides of the room. All Greek houses are required to prepare food to-go. 

“Everyone’s being com­pliant and has a good attitude about it. No one’s com­plaining. We are all just grateful to be here,” Moore added.

On Sept. 1, Adrian College, a 40-minute drive east of Hillsdale with a pop­u­lation of about  1,800 stu­dents, reported 152 cases of coro­n­avirus among stu­dents and staff, according to MLive. Central Michigan Uni­versity reported 178 sus­pected and probable cases since reopening this fall. The Central Michigan Dis­trict Health Department, sep­arate from the uni­versity, declared a public health emer­gency in Mount Pleasant and Union Township where the campus is located. 

Kala­mazoo College can­celled its in-person classes last week fol­lowing the examples of Michigan State Uni­versity and Eastern Michigan Uni­versity. More than 100,000 Michi­ganders have con­tracted coro­n­avirus and nearly 6,500 have died from it since March.

All stu­dents who have expe­ri­enced symptoms at Hillsdale are expected to report to Stephanie Gravel, the col­lege’s health care liaison. Should stu­dents show symptoms, they will be quar­an­tined in the town­houses. The college admin­is­tration is updated daily as well, Petersen said.

“Our stu­dents are honest and want to be helpful,” Petersen said. “Plus, I suspect no one wants to jeop­ardize our having in-person classes. They want to take care of their com­munity. I know a lot of stu­dents have said they want to make sure their pro­fessors aren’t in harm’s way. They are just being cau­tious and forth­right.”

Update 9/11/2020: 

An earlier version of this article failed to include Stephanie Gravel’s full title as health care liaison for the college.

Stu­dents expe­ri­encing symptoms of coro­n­avirus should follow the steps on the Hillsdale GO app under “coro­n­avirus ques­tion­naire” and call the health center, where nurses will be on call 24/7. From there, the deans’ offices and health center staff will help the student arrange logistics.