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College raises CARES Level of Concern as two students test positive for coronavirus

CARES levels of concern

Hesston College raised its CARES Level of Concern on Monday from “Active” to “Restricted” in response to two positive COVID-19 tests completed late last week.

The two students who tested positive will quarantine in an off-campus location as the campus initiates their planned response at the “Restricted” level. Off-campus visits are restricted to prospective students, and students cannot stay overnight off-campus unless they are going home to complete a period of quarantine or isolation. Outdoor spaces on campus remain open, but may be closed as staff identify areas of infection and transmission.

In an email message to students, faculty, and staff about the shift, Vice President of Student Life Deb Roth said “we knew that a positive case would eventually appear on our campus, and we have plans in place to manage this situation.

“Our goal is to keep [the college community] as informed as possible,” Roth said, “while at the same time honoring the confidentiality of all individuals involved.”

According to the Hesston College website, the “Restricted” level is initiated by “a positive test result of student(s) or employee who has had contact with others on campus.” At that point, college officials reach out to the Harvey County Health Department to determine next steps.

In partnership with the Harvey County Health Department, the college’s COVID response team developed the CARES Levels of Concern plan to provide a roadmap as students, faculty, and staff returned to campus in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reopening plan included isolating and testing all students who exhibited symptoms of COVID-19.