Bethel transitions to “Yellow” status following positive COVID tests

Chad Frey
The Kansan

Mandatory COVID-19 antigen testing at Bethel College has resulted in a total positive rate of 1.74%, putting the campus in its “Yellow” COVID status.

Bethel College announced finding 12 cases of COVID-19 during testing required as students return to campus for the 2021-22 school year.

“Masks are required indoors and outdoors on campus, except in individual offices and residential housing rooms,” said said Tricia Clark, director of institutional communications and marketing and a member of Bethel’s Infectious Disease Management Team.

All new and returning students underwent testing, done by nursing faculty, beginning with fall athletes on Aug. 6-7, with testing completed by Aug. 16. Faculty and staff were strongly encouraged, but not required, to be tested.

The final results were 12 positives, or 1.74%. Eleven were students and one was an employee.

According to its infectious disease protocols, Bethel transitioned to Yellow status Aug. 17 at 8 a.m. A positive test rate on campus of between 1.5 and 2% is one criteria for Yellow.

The potential for an increase in quarantine numbers as a precautionary measure to mitigate the spread of COVID also exists at that rate.

“The Bethel community will continue to practice good hygiene and 6-foot physical distancing, and to log symptoms daily using the #CampusClear app,” Clark said.

Almost exactly one year prior to the transition, the college was identified as a cluster after manditory teting during student registration found 46 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 482 individuals tested.

To find all infectious disease protocols and a data dashboard, see Bethel’s COVID webpage at bethelks.edu/coronavirus-information