Students at Tiffin University have recently tested positive for COVID-19, according to the university and the Seneca County General Health District.
TU’s fall semester started this week with in-person classes.
“We have prepared for the possibility that students would test positive for COVID-19 when we developed our Dragon Safety Plan. While this is not the position that we hoped to be in, there are students who have tested positive for COVID-19 since August 16,” TU President Dr. Lillian Schumacher said in a statement.
Schumacher said the university is working continuously with the Seneca County General Health District, and the university’s contact tracing analysis indicates that almost all infections are coming from off-campus gatherings where neither masks were worn nor physical distancing was observed.
“In order to keep our campus safe, we have asked these students to return home and to take care of themselves, and they may return when they are better,” Schumacher said. “For those residential students who cannot return home, we will provide them with isolation housing. During the time that they are away, we will continue to trace who they have been in contact with, clean and sanitize rooms and gathering areas across campus, as well as assist any affected students with their remote classes.”
Schumacher said the university will also make use of its isolation and quarantine housing for students waiting on test results and for those who have been in contact with affected students.
“This is not a surprising situation and is expected. We are prepared to mitigate it and move forward through the academic year,” Schumacher said.
Schumacher asked students to do their part and abide by the university’s “Dragon Pledge,” including health protocols and avoiding behaviors that puts them and others at risk of contracting the virus.
“Doing so will help us get through this safer and faster,” Schumacher said.
Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer said the reported cases from TU are being investigated. The health department is conducting contact tracing and interviewing each student to determine if they are to be counted as a confirmed case.
Schweitzer said most of the tests used for the students were rapid antigen tests, so additional investigation is underway before the cases are added to the county’s total number of confirmed cases.