Centralia College Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19; Four Total Cases at College


A Centralia College employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the college reported on Thursday, bringing the total number of positive cases by employees and students at the college to four. 

Two students and two employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since March  — on March 16, July 20, July 23 and Sept. 2, according to Amanda Haines, Centralia College’s Director of College Relations.

Haines said that the other employee that tested positive earlier in this summer has since recovered and is back at work but she is unsure about the recovery status of the two students. 

After communication with the person, and Lewis County Public Health and Social Services, we were able to identify areas and people they may have been in contact with,” said Centralia College in a press release.

The people the infected individual was in contact with are being reached out to by Centralia College Campus personnel.

“We’ve been in contact with the health department — talked to them right away — they’re very responsive,” said Centralia College President Bob Mohrbacher. “They said that since it’s been a week since the employee was in the building, we don’t need to shut the building down — just go ahead and clean it.”

The college has been using a sign-in form on the college’s website to track who is on campus and when which has been useful for tracing and contacting those who have been in contact with those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Custodial crews will be performing a deep cleaning of the Hanson Building this afternoon. No other areas on campus are affected. All cleaning will be conducted according to the strict standards established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention specifically for COVID-19,” stated the press release from the college.

Centralia College is operating with a hybrid online and in-person model. Many classes are fully online but some hands-on classes such as nursing, welding, and some labs, online instruction is not feasible. Masks are required for all individuals on campus — indoors and outdoors.

“We are also ensuring social distancing in all classes and buildings and following the comprehensive cleaning protocols,” said Haines. 

Haines said that Centralia College has been offering online classes since 1998 so the transition to the large scale of online classes was smooth.

College services such as advising, financial aid, enrollment and disability services are available in-person by appointment. Fall classes begin on Sept. 21.

More information can be found on the Centralia College website at www.centralia.edu



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