College of Wooster quarantine, isolation spaces close to capacity as campus moves remote for rest of year

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The College of Wooster recorded a 12% positivity rate in campus testing for the week of Oct. 11, and quarantine and isolation spaces are nearly to capacity.

About 86% of quarantine spaces are filled, for students who were exposed to the virus, but aren’t confirmed cases. Isolation spaces, for students with confirmed coronavirus cases, are about 75% full. Additional quarantine and isolation capacity may be made available if needed, according to the school’s dashboard, last updated Oct. 19.

After temporarily moving classes online due to coronavirus cases rising on Oct. 12, officials decided on Oct. 16 to keep students learning remotely for the rest of the semester, at the recommendation of Wayne County health officials and Ohio State advisers, according to a letter from President Sarah Bolton.

“I know this is a tremendous disappointment, and I am so very sorry. However, we believe this pivot is in the best interest of everyone’s health,” Bolton wrote.

The most recent updates do not include details on university tracing, but previous releases refer to social gatherings and situations where individuals are spending extended periods of time together and not wearing masks.

So far the university administered 3,696 tests, with 101 positive received. Wayne County, where the College of Wooster campus is located, is in orange, or “Level 2” status. Twenty-nine of Ohio’s 88 counties were designated in “red” status on Oct. 15, and Ohio continues to break records on daily increases. The county map will be updated again Thursday.

Officials will reassess spring semester plans and give an update on Nov. 10.

“We know this is extremely difficult news at an already extremely stressful time. It is heartbreaking for those on campus who were so enjoying rebuilding our in-person community to have to pull back from it again,” Bolton said. “We are working to be sure that students have all the support that would be most helpful to them. Counseling will continue to be available to students whether they are on or off-campus.”

Students can remain on campus, and are advised to quarantine for 14 days if they choose to return home.

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