Liam Mullin / Equinox staff

Talee Messenger
Equinox Staff

COVID-19 remains a threat at Keene State College.

As of March 31, 2021, Keene State College reported 16 positive cases of COVID-19 from March 22 through the 26 testing period.

There are currently 14 active cases of COVID-19 at the college, 11 of which are off-campus students. The weekly positivity rate for on-campus students is 0.05%, and 0.18% for off-campus students. Keene State remains in the “green/yellow” zone for operation.

Cristy Taylor, the Co-Testing Coordinator, stated that Broad Institutions continue to be an impressive testing system, with the turnaround for test results being in the 36-hour range. Taylor also commented on the high turnout for testing this semester.

“…last week we had a 97% compliance week for our [Keene State College] campus-wide testing. We have not dipped below 95% for the entire spring semester. Go Owls!” Taylor stated.

The Director of Strategic Communications and Community Relations Kelly Ricaurte stated that the college remains in the “green/yellow” zone due to the community levels of COVID-19, not just the results coming out of Keene State College.

“There’s still a fair amount of circulation of the virus in our community, in Keene and the Monadnock region, so even though it’s pretty safe… Until we start to see those numbers also decline, we really need to maintain our protocols that are in place, and now is not a good time to relax our protocols.” Ricaurte stated.

Ricaurte says the response on campus to the new mask mandate has been positive. She said, “I think it’s gone over well, and people understand that there are variants circling in New England. That added protection provides some peace of mind… it’s daunting no doubt for all of us to follow the precautions and now have to do more, but it is in place for the safety of our students and for faculty and staff.”

It’s important to remain safe over the weekends by wearing masks, physical distancing and following COVID-19 protocols with friends and family, according to Ricaurte. She said, “We are in April, which is exciting, which is only a couple of months away from graduation for seniors, and every decision we make right now really does determine the next couple of months and the rest of the semester for us.”

In order to leave campus and travel for any reason, the college is requiring students to fill out a travel form, available online, before leaving. If there are questions regarding the travel form, students should contact the Dean of Students (deanofstudents@keene.edu).

The college is currently planning for a fully in-person fall semester and was guided by student input, asking to be back on campus and be together for the full college experience, according to Ricaurte.

Ricaurte said the college is currently working on making it as “normal as possible and follow science” in regards to making decisions on returning full-time in the fall. She also urges students and the community to get vaccinated as soon as their eligible, as it is an important factor in coming together in the fall.

 

Talee Messenger can be contacted at:
tmessenger@kscequinox.com

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