Presidential COVID-19 Update: October 15, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020

To the parents and guardians of students,

As you have likely heard from your student, Carroll College has experienced a significant rise in the number of COVID-19 cases on campus. The most recent round of cases is the direct result of asymptomatic student testing that took place on Monday and Tuesday, largely in response to an uptick that we saw over the previous weekend and in our county.

We have been moving quickly to quarantine and isolate those students affected and we have put other mitigation measures in place to turn the tide. The measures that we have put in place have worked at other campuses where there were initial outbreaks.

Our goal continues to be to help each and every student meet their educational objectives this term in the safest and healthiest way possible. We know the on-campus experience is critical to this for many of our students. We are also aware that we need to do what we can to protect our students and the local community.

As parents and family members, here are a few things we would like you to know:

  • One key is testing. We will continue testing students today and Friday and for each week following we will have testing on campus for asymptomatic students. Off-campus local testing hours for symptomatic students have been expanded. We will also be doing on-campus testing of asymptomatic faculty and staff starting this week.
  • We continue to improve our food service plan. Several students and parents have expressed concerns about the quality of food and the quantities. We are working to ensure all students have what they need. One immediate change is that students can get more than one meal when they go through the line.
  • We have been strongly advised by Lewis and Clark Public Health that students that are in isolation or quarantine should remain at the college, or in their off campus quarantine or isolation facility to ensure we do not spread the virus further. Those wishing to return home during isolation or quarantine must work with the Public Health Officer to obtain permission and make a plan. This is not a Carroll College decision.
  • Classrooms have not been a source of viral spread. In a meeting with Public Health this week, they stated that our classrooms are some of the safest places to be.

You can help us:

  • Encourage your student to wear a mask and physically distance as much as possible. We have had some problems with students not following guidelines. It’s not comfortable, but it will help us get to the end of the semester successfully.
  • If your student is having trouble with coursework, needs classes moved temporarily to a remote format, or otherwise requires academic support, encourage them to email advising@carroll.edu.
  • If your student is experiencing high anxiety or stress, encourage them to call Counseling Services in the Wellness Center at (406) 447-5441 to make an appointment.
  • If you or your student have any general questions about the COVID-19 response, please send an email to covid19@carroll.edu.
  • If your student is isolated or in quarantine, please check in with your child often. Being alone has been a big challenge for many students, and home contact is so very important to them as they do what they need to.

Our current measures are temporary, and as we look ahead, we continue to learn a great deal about COVID-19, our response, and the best ways to manage during the pandemic. We feel that what we learn now will not only help us bend the curve on campus back down, but prepare us well for the spring semester. 

Sincerely,
John E. Cech, Ph.D., President
Carroll College Marching Back Task Force


To our students,

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we put mitigation measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Today, please note the following:

Food Service

We have heard your concerns about portions, and starting immediately, students may take more than one hot meal during a meal period. Additionally, we are working to address issues of quality and providing more choices.

Volunteers are needed to deliver meals. ASCC President Shae Bills is coordinating student efforts to deliver meals on weekends. Please email Shae at sbills@carroll.edu if you would like to volunteer. Students delivering meals should have no contact with those they are delivering to to ensure we do not spread COVID-19 further.

Testing

Students that are not currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (asymptomatic) can be tested on campus Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16. The times and locations for the remainder of this week are:

  • Thursday, Oct. 15: Wellness Center, 9 am - 12 pm  and 1 pm - 4 pm
  • Thursday, Oct. 15: PE Center, 12 pm - 2 pm
  • Friday, Oct. 16: Wellness Center, 9 am - 12 pm  
  • Friday, Oct. 16: PE Center, 12 pm - 2 pm 

Next week, testing will continue on Monday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 20

  • Wellness Center, 9 am - 12 pm  and 1 pm - 4 pm
  • PE Center: 12 pm - 2 pm 

Students who are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should: 

  • Call the Carroll College Wellness Center at 406-447-5441 during regular business hours, 9 am - 12 pm and 1 pm - 4 pm, Monday through Friday (do not go to the center before calling first).
  • After hours, call the St. Peter’s Urgent Care hotline at: 406-457-4180.
  • If you have been informed by a healthcare provider or Lewis and Clark Public Health that you have either tested positive or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, please complete the appropriate reporting form on our website.

The college has been working with Lewis and Clark Public Health and St. Peter’s to ensure access to symptomatic testing. Additionally, St. Peter’s has expanded their drive thru testing hours and capacity. You can get symptomatic testing at St. Peter’s Health with a doctor’s order from the Wellness Center or your personal provider.

  • Drive-up testing with a doctor’s order is available on the east side of the Medical Group Building, 2550 Broadway (next to the hospital), 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, 9 am - 3 pm, Saturday and Sunday. 

Key contacts for you

  • If you are having trouble with coursework or otherwise require academic support, email advising@carroll.edu.
  • If you are experiencing high anxiety or stress, call Counseling Services in the Wellness Center at (406) 447-5441 to make an appointment. If they cannot fit you in within a reasonable amount of time they will help you connect with another good provider in the community.
  • If you have any general questions about the COVID-19 response, please send an email to covid19@carroll.edu.

Support each other

Right now, it is important to support the large number of students in isolation and quarantine. If you are COVID-19 free you can do that best through FaceTime, other video chat, and staying closely connected with your friends experiencing quarantine and isolation. Find ways to connect with students in physically distant ways in order to stop this current outbreak.

It is also important that students limit their number of face-to-face contacts, and stay where they currently are. We have been strongly advised by Public Health that students should not travel now and risk spreading the virus from our campus.

Sincerely,
Carroll College Marching Back Task Force