Photo by Carin Houser
Photo by Carin Houser

Millikin to be Online First Week Back

January 7, 2022

In an email to students, Millikin announced that classes will be online the first week of the spring 2022 semester.

 After a fall semester heavily impacted by COVID-19 and in the midst of the Omicron holiday surge, Millikin is implementing mandatory testing for all students as they return to campus for the semester. 

Students are expected to arrive on campus no later than Jan. 24th. According to the email sent by Vice President Raphaella Prange, students must be tested immediately upon arriving on campus and participate in a 24-hour self-isolation. Students may leave isolation after the 24-hour time period, or if they receive a negative COVID-19 test from the on-campus testing site. 

At this time, commuter student COVID-19 entry guidelines are unclear. Students who provide proof of a positive COVID-19 test that is dated from the past two weeks are exempt from the return-to-campus testing guidelines. 

To avoid testing delays, students are encouraged to sign up for testing as soon as possible beginning the week of Jan. 17th. 

Any student who has provided a vaccination exemption form will still be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. 

The quarantine and isolation guidelines for the spring semester follow recent CDC guidelines. Any student who has tested positive or is exhibiting symptoms will participate in a mandatory 5-day isolation. 

On the fifth day of isolation, the student will test for COVID-19. If the student tests negative and the symptoms have resolved, the student will be released from isolation and allowed to re-enter the student body with no additional restrictions. 

If the student tests positive, they will be required to isolate an additional five days. 

Any fully vaccinated student who has direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 may continue to attend class, work, and sports. They will be expected to wear a mask all the time. 

To-go dining services will be the only on-campus dining available during the first five days of the spring semester. 

In order for a student to be considered fully vaccinated, they must have received their vaccination within 6 months, or have received a booster shot. 

After the first five days, the vaccinated student will participate in a COVID-19 test. If the student tests positive, they will need to isolate an additional five days. 

A non-vaccinated student who is directly exposed to the virus will be subject to mandatory quarantine. They will not be allowed to go to in-person classes, sports, or work for five days. On the fifth day, they will be tested for the virus. If they test positive, they will continue isolating for an additional five days and retest on day 10. If they test negative on day five, they will be allowed to return to classes, sports, and work, though they will need to continue mask-wearing 100% of the time as well as continuing to utilize to-go dining services. 

Millikin will be hosting a vaccination/booster clinic on Thursday, Jan. 27 from 10 am to 2 pm in the University Commons. 

The mask mandate from the Fall 2021 semester still stands, requiring students to mask inside buildings while in the presence of others. Students may remove their masks while they are with non-isolating roommates. 

Students who were sent into quarantine previously were sent to one of three on-campus locations.

 “Blackburn Hall, the very first floor that’s not residential, where the food pantry is if you go beyond the food pantry, there’s a short hallway of like six rooms that have one restroom,” Vice President Prange said in an interview last December. “And it’s like all very isolated. So we use that. We also use the Huss House, which is the house that we own next to Pi Beta Phi. 

“And those are our two main isolation spaces. And then if we need to go into Walker Hall, we use that but that’s kind of our third priority, because it’s an older building, and we’d rather put the students in the nicer spaces, but so we have all in all about 40 or so isolation spaces.” 

The quarantine rooms in Walker Hall were previously used in the 2020-2021 school year. In the Fall of 2021, Millikin completed 8,662 COVID-19 tests through the SHIELD program. 

The highest positivity rate Millikin saw last semester was 3.2% according to data provided to the Decaturian from the University. The most recent data for Macon County shows a 18.3% positivity rate from the week of 12/26/2021 – 1/1/2022. 

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