The Harvey County Health Department, in conjunction with Hesston College, has confirmed a cluster of COVID-19 cases on the Hesston College campus.


The cluster includes five confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 17 individuals tested. Two test results are pending.


"Our students, faculty and staff have done a wonderful job planning for and adapting to the challenges of reopening in the current health climate," said Hesston College President Joe Manickam. "Our COVID response team, along with state health officials, has put tremendous effort into a rapid and comprehensive program of contact tracing to create a welcoming, successful and safe educational environment on our campus."


The individuals have self-isolated off campus. Hesston College, along with the Health Department, will regularly monitor the health of the individuals, as well as identify and quarantine all close contacts.


Hesston College has several preventative measures established to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The college utilizes single rooms for all dorming students, staggered move-in and registration days, requires face masks in common areas and daily self-screening.


Hesston implemented the restricted phase of the college’s five-level CARES Level of Concern planning rubric when the first on-campus cases were confirmed. Information and updates on Hesston College’s COVID-19 response can be found at www.hesston.edu/covid-19-response.


"Hesston College consistently communicated with the Health Department as it developed and planned for its reopening this fall," said Harvey County Health Department Director Lynnette Redington. "The college was proactive in quarantining students to prepare for in-person instruction, and remains diligent as it fulfills its action plans to aid and care for individuals isolating as a result of testing positive for COVID-19."


Individuals positive for COVID-19 who are Harvey County residents, or identify the college as their current place of residence, will be included in Harvey County’s COVID-19 statistics. Out-of-county individuals that are able to isolate at home will be counted in the statistics of their respective county of residence. All individuals will be included in the total count of the cluster.