Bethel’s COVID-19 Alert Level rose to three this afternoon, bringing with it a mandatory week-long quarantine for College of Arts & Sciences Students.
By Rachel Blood | News Reporter
An email sent out to the Bethel community at 3:36 p.m. today announced an increase in COVID-19 Alert Level to level three. This level is described as “high” and states “campus resources are becoming seriously depleted or exhausted and processes are ineffective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.”
A combination of increased on-campus testing and positive cases of COVID-19 has led to a “precautionary quarantine” for all CAS students. The quarantine begins at 7 p.m. today and is scheduled to end at 5 p.m. Nov. 13. The increase in cases is linked to off-campus gatherings that did not abide by social distancing guidelines.
The quarantine will allow for a decrease in student interaction and time for additional testing and contact tracing. Arden Village students and others currently in quarantine or isolation will continue to follow quarantine protocols.
“What we learn from new information, including information from the testing done on campus last Wednesday, will help us make plans for the rest of the semester,” said Julie Finnern, Associate Provost for the College of Arts and Sciences. “In the meantime, I strongly encourage everyone to fully follow the COVID precautions for the sake of your health, the health of those around you, and our entire community.”
All classes for CAS students will transition to an online format, but students will still be able to engage in “essential” behaviors.
Finnern said faculty are well-prepared to teach engaging virtual classes.
Students are permitted to live on campus or return home, work on or off-campus jobs at which social distancing guidelines can be maintained and participate in internships, clinicals and student teaching jobs.
The Dining Center, 3900 Grill and Royal Grounds will remain open and will have dine-in or to-go options. Common spaces such as lounges and the library will remain open, as will the Wellness Center. Study rooms and lobbies of residence halls will remain open.
Dorm rooms will be limited only to the residents of the room. Students may not enter residence halls they do not live in.
Athletics, music, chapel and other Bethel activities will remain accessible. Students in other extracurriculars and clubs should await individual instruction from advisors or group officials regarding further steps of action.
Off-campus churches may be attended virtually. Students may leave campus for groceries, to-go food options or medical appointments.
The rise in Alert Level will not affect the College of Adult & Professional Studies, Bethel Seminary or the Graduate School.
Individuals concerned about exposure or other COVID-19-related inquiries should call the COVID-19 Hotline at 651-635-8500. The Bethel community can stay up to date on COVID-19 cases on the COVID-19 Dashboard.
“Bethel continues to make COVID-related decisions prayerfully and using the best information known at a given point in time,” said Finnern.