Since returning from spring break, COVID-19 conditions have remained quiet on campus, with only three new student cases on campus and one employee case being reported in the three weeks since classes resumed. Similarly, Knox County has seen a continued decrease in new cases, and there are currently no hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Knox Community Hospital. Like 94% of counties across the U.S., Knox County remains at the Low COVID-19 Community Level, according to the CDC.
While this is great news, reports from several states, mostly in the Northeast, make it clear that COVID-19 is still with us. In some areas, new cases have risen to levels not seen since the fall 2021 surge driven by the Delta variant. We will continue to monitor local conditions and provide up-to-date information on the COVID-19 Dashboard. Should cases rise locally, the campus community may be encouraged to return to masking, even if the College remains at Campus Activity Level 0. Surgical masks continue to be available in Peirce Hall, and high quality KN95 masks are available for students at the Campus Safety office. For students that need to test, both rapid antigen and PCR tests remain available at the Campus Mail Center in Gund Commons. Any student who tests positive is required to report their result to Health Services at email@example.com.
With just three weeks of classes left in the semester, we hope that case levels will remain low through the rest of the semester. But we know that the campus community is prepared to respond appropriately if case levels rise again.
Chair, COVID-19 Steering Committee
Associate Provost and Professor of Biology