SHARE
The Hillsdale Health & Wellness Center is working hard to contain Covid-19. Madeleine Miller | Col­legian

As new con­firmed cases of COVID-19 spike in Michigan, Hillsdale College reported two active cases on Wednesday morning. Another 43 stu­dents are in contact iso­lation and seven await test results. Twenty-eight cases of COVID-19 have been resolved this year, according to a faculty and staff newsletter.

Director of Health and Wellness Brock Lutz said there have been no apparent out­breaks recently. 

“There wasn’t really a spike after fall break,” Lutz said. “I think parent’s weekend was a little bit more dif­ficult to determine because we did see a bit of an increase last week after parent’s weekend, but I even hes­itate to point the finger at parent’s weekend for cau­sation. Right now, I cer­tainly don’t know of anyone who tested pos­itive who then said, ‘Oh, well yeah my mom tested pos­itive when she got home.’”

Other schools, like the Uni­versity of Michigan, have seen spikes in COVID-19 cases this month. While Hillsdale’s case numbers have been on a slow incline since the end of Sep­tember, Lutz said Hillsdale’s pos­itive case rate isn’t growing at a rapid rate.

Addi­tionally, Lutz said the college’s cases count for only a small per­centage of total cases in Hillsdale County. 

“Uni­versity of Michigan cases count for about 60% of all pos­itive cases in Washtenaw County,” Lutz said. “Our cases at the college count for about 6% of our county’s pos­itive cases. So, I think that means we’re doing well. I don’t think that means we should let up, I think that means we should keep doing what we’re doing.”

Senior Carson Nickel con­tracted COVID-19 after close contact with one of his fra­ternity brothers. Nickel said his symptoms were only noticeable for a few days. 

“I had a tiny bit of a sore throat for two days and then I had really bad body aches and a little bit of a fever,” Nickel said. “The next day, and then right after that day, all my symptoms pretty much went away except for a stuffy nose, and then I lost my sense of smell and taste some­where along the way and didn’t get it back for two weeks.”

Although Nickel recovered a couple of weeks ago, he said he’s been taking extra pre­cau­tions to protect himself. 

“I’ve been trying to wear a mask as much as I can,” Nickel said. “Tech­ni­cally, according to guide­lines, you only have to be quar­an­tined if you had close contact without a mask on. So I’ve been trying to get around it by wearing a mask because of course I’m con­cerned about going back into quar­antine.”

Lutz said the college’s main pri­or­ities have been safety, legality, and in-person classes, “in that order.” 

College Pres­ident Larry Arnn has repeatedly stressed the impor­tance of in-person classes, saying in August that “we should be cau­tious about any­thing that spreads the coro­n­avirus, but we should not forget the joy of being together.”

Lutz said so far, the college has main­tained those pri­or­ities, and has every intention to keep doing so. 

“I think we’ve been able to do all those things fairly well,” Lutz said. “People have been coop­er­ative, and people keep saying, ‘we’ll do whatever we need to do as long as we can stay in person.’ People have been very hon­orable.”