Six weeks into the fall semester, officials at West Virginia Northern Community College say its campuses are effectively coping with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, including the delta variant outbreak.
So far, the college has only experienced nine COVID infections of what it believes to be the delta variant.
The vaccination rate among WVNCC employees exceeds 85%.
And since Northern reinstated some COVID protocols – an inside mask warrant and a request for students and employees to test for the virus every two weeks or get vaccinated – student membership has been eclipsed at 99 %.
This drew praise from WVNCC President Daniel Mosser.
“Our number one goal is the health and safety of students and employees,” he said.
“We want to keep our community safe while also being able to host in-person classes on our three campuses.
Everyone has been extraordinarily patient, understanding and protective of one another.
“Our low infection rate is a testament to everyone’s cooperation and commitment to keep the college open,” he added.
Northern saw its first reported COVID case on October 29, 2020. When vaccines became available, the college began working with local health departments and pharmacies in New Martinsville, Weirton and Wheeling to offer free tests and vaccination options.
Each campus also offered a vaccination clinic last summer.
The College has also formed internal contact tracing teams to track cases, prevent outbreaks, and provide students and staff with advice and resources to properly navigate quarantines and fight the pandemic.
In addition to this, WVNCC has distributed over $ 940,000 in emergency relief funds for higher education.
“I have never been more proud of the hard work it took for our students and staff to ensure that our university community understands these new expectations and holds each other accountable,” said Mosser.
“We had some very difficult conversations, but ultimately our students and our campuses stayed safe. “