College announces reopening plan for spring 2021 semester

snow falls on the Hesston College campus

The Hesston College reopening workgroup has announced its plan for the return of students to campus for the spring 2021 semester.

The reopening plan includes a recommitment to safe and responsible behavior during the six weeks between the end of fall semester and the start of spring semester. Each student will be screened for COVID-19 seven days prior to their return to campus. In the event of a positive test result, the student will be asked to isolate in place until a local medical professional or public health official releases them.

On-campus students will participate in a two-week modified quarantine upon arrival at Hesston College in January. Student-athletes and those involved in performance areas such as choir can leave their rooms to practice, students will pick up food from the college’s dining service and will be able to participate in nursing labs, clinicals, and off-campus training where appropriate. During the modified quarantine period students may meet outside assuming they remain socially distanced and masked.

The plan builds on successful initiatives put in place by the college to minimize the occurrence and spread of COVID-19 on campus, including housing on-campus students in single rooms, hybrid online/in-person coursework, and the modification of classroom layouts to better accommodate social distancing and disinfection.

Hesston College employees will also be asked to commit to healthy measures and practices over the winter holidays, and those who work closely with students during the modified quarantine period will be asked to participate in COVID-19 testing prior to returning to work.

“We’re confident the reopening plan sets us up for a safe and successful spring semester,” said Deb Roth, vice president of Student Life and head of the Reopening Workgroup at Hesston College. “The national, state and local landscape necessitates a more aggressive approach than we used in August. We must redouble our commitment to caring for ourselves and each other to ensure Hesston students can live and learn together in a healthy and supportive environment.”