As COVID-19 cases rise, Morningside College moving to orange operation level

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Morningside College is moving their operating level from yellow to orange starting Wednesday, according to an email from the college president.

President John Reynders wrote to faculty and staff that with the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in Woodbury County and students in isolation and quarantine, they are moving to more stringent operations.

Reynders said that the college will remain at the orange operating level until further notice.

Recent COVID-19 numbers on the school’s dashboard show that for the week of September 14-20, there were 46 new COVID-19 cases among the students and two faculty or staff member that tested positive.

Additionally, they report that 24 people are in isolation on-campus, while 61 are off-campus. Another 44 are in quarantine on-campus with 83 off-campus.

The college recently had a TestIowa site launch on campus.

With the move to orange, the college is adding more requirements, including moving to hybrid learning format for physical distancing and reducing seating in the cafeteria.

All co-curricular activities may continue on campus, but physical distancing and face coverings should be used where possible.

The email also says there will be “enhanced enforcement” of occupancy requirements in residence halls. Citing that most close contacts happen cost commonly from larger friend gatherings in the dining room, residence halls, or at off-campus homes and is considered a “community threat”, there will be disciplinary actions against those who violate the policy.

Masks will also be required everywhere in residence halls except for student rooms and restrooms.

Students are recommended to speak with their family about the possibility to return home if they need to quarantine or isolate. While they have on-campus quarantine and isolation housing available, students may be asked to do so off-campus if on-campus options are filled

The college is asking student to continue to wear face coverings, frequently wash hands, physically distance from one another, practice self care and limit close contact with others.

“I sincerely hope that all members of the campus community will work together to help us reverse the trend of isolation and quarantine numbers we have been seeing. Take care of yourselves and one another so we can get back to operating in yellow soon,” Reynders adds.

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