Section: News

COVID-19 cases spike, campus policy remains unchanged

COVID-19 cases have spiked following students’ return to campus, with 77 active student cases as of Wednesday afternoon, and 98 total cases since the beginning of the fall semester.

Senior Director of Wellness Chris Smith shared that he is not surprised by the surge in cases.

“We anticipated a potential uptick in cases as members of our campus community reunited from locations across the globe,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “While we are hopeful that as our campus settles into the semester the number of cases decline, Kenyon is not immune from the national trends of cyclical upticks that may occur throughout the academic year.”

National cases of COVID-19 have fallen slightly since mid-July, according to the New York Times COVID-19 tracker. The surrounding area of Knox County is categorized at the Medium COVID-19 Community Level according to the CDC, which suggests precautions including vaccination, as well as wearing a mask and getting tested if you experience symptoms or are exposed to COVID-19.

Last year, the College operated under a series of activity levels, which categorized the restrictions on campus life based on the state of COVID-19 on campus. At the end of the spring semester, the College was operating at Activity Level 0, which placed no restrictions on student gatherings and left any mask requirements up to instructors. 

The College has since decided to remove the activity levels, a decision driven by Kenyon’s high vaccination rates and low rates of serious illness as a result of COVID-19.

“As we learn to live with COVID, public health recommendations, including restrictions, must also evolve,” Smith wrote.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 are advised to isolate themselves in their residences for five days and take to-go boxes of food from Peirce Hall. Masks are available in Peirce and the Campus Safety office, and rapid tests are available in Gund Commons.



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