On Oct. 2 the Hastings College campus received an email from Executive President Dr. Rich Lloyd that the COVID-19 precaution level would be returning from pink to orange.
The decision to move to Level Pink happened on Sept. 28 after there was a sudden increase of individuals in isolation, causing the isolation housing to approach maximum capacity. When in Level Pink, guidelines stated all classes were online, except for lab and studio courses, athletic activities were suspended and students were discouraged from going home. With the cooperation of the campus, the goals of decreasing individuals in isolation housing and pinpointing where the virus was present were met, lowering the level back to orange with additional health guidelines for groups, visitors and athletic teams.
Group gatherings are now limited to 10 people when indoors with masks and physical distancing, and 20 people when outdoors. In the dining hall, individuals are to sit with roommates or a close contact circle of no more than four seated together in any indoor location. Outside visitors are not allowed in any resident halls or campus buildings. An exception is for HC Admissions and Hastings High Football’s use of the stadium. As for athletics, the campus is preparing for the start of the basketball and wrestling seasons.
“We are going to be reviewing different protocols and then meeting with the coaches and the athletes themselves to do some COVID-19 training,” said Laura Hurley, Director of Student Athlete Development. “We just want to get ahead of the game of training students to wear their masks, social distance, and opportunities where it is not always the easiest.”
As COVID-19 cases are rising around the country, it is vital to follow the protocols of wearing masks, maintaining social distance, keeping contact circles small and reporting symptoms. If campus protocols/policies are violated by students, staff, faculty or administration they may come before the COVID-19 concerns committee.
With Thanksgiving soon approaching, HC still plans to have in-person classes during the two weeks before Winter Break while many colleges have decided to extend the break or host classes online.
Precaution levels rise and fall within one week“The leadership team is constantly reviewing where we are at. There’s an external dashboard that is being used. We use an internal dashboard that has more parameters. That is a constant conversation,” said COVID-19 Case Manager Brady Rhodes. “If there is a question about where things are at that week or so before Thanksgiving, that is what they are going to turn to.”