Taken from keene.edu

Harrison Paletta
Equinox Staff

COVID-19 has created tremendous challenges and issues on our planet and, more specifically, at Keene State College.

Last week the college discovered 14 new positive cases. In response, KSC has increased schoolwide testing from once a week to twice a week. President Melinda Treadwell has continued to urge students, teachers and faculty to practice social distancing and mask wearing in order to remain in-person.

Director of Strategic Communication and Community Relations at Keene State College Kelly Ricaurte shared information about KSC’s current situation and response, “We’ve seen cases hold steady. We are carefully watching after every testing cycle for test results, and our Rapid Response Team (RRT) is always standing by to help people in our college community know what to do next if they test positive, or if they are a close contact of someone who tested positive.”

Considering new and returning students, the school must be prepared for anything that happens. Ricaurte said, “The college uses a thorough risk mitigation plan, which includes criteria that are being monitored to determine if or when college operations need to shift to remote. The plan is in place to ensure the health and safety of our community, and at this time, our precautions and RRT (Rapid Response Team) efforts to contact-trace are allowing us to stay together in-person.”

Ricaurte also said, “Each student’s decision to wear a snug-fitting mask, not gather in groups and physically distance, helps increase our chances of staying on campus this semester. We are proud of how our students helped us stay

healthy and together in-person during the fall semester.”

Christy Taylor is the co-testing Coordinator at Keene State College and works with members on the COVID Leadership Team. Taylor provided a response from the COVID Project Manager of the Leadership Team Colin Burdick. Burdick said, “We have 47 cases and quarantines as of this moment. Most cases are off-campus or at home. We hope that students will do their part to keep the campus community safe so that cases are not soaring.”

When it comes to closing the school, Burdick said, “You can say that in the two weeks in which we have tested the entire population we have actually seen a slight decrease from week one to week two. If this is not the case and we do get a steady increase of positive cases in the next two weeks, KSC is prepared to adjust operations as necessary. We hope we do not need to do this, but it all depends on student compliance.”

Morgan Chantler, senior at KSC had a few comments about new testing protocols. She said, “I think it is good to know quicker who has covid and who doesn’t but at the same time it feels almost like an incentive for those who don’t care about it for whatever reason. I feel better knowing my test results because I am highly exposed from student teaching and working.”


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