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Kellogg Community College to restrict public access to campuses amid COVID-19 spike

WWMT Grand Rapids/Lansing logo WWMT Grand Rapids/Lansing 11/14/2020 News Channel 3
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Kellogg Community College officials announced a new series of COVID-19 safety precautions Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.

Changes included the end of in-person classes at the college's Regional Manufacturing Technology Center, as well as restricting the general public's access to all five campuses and shifting employees to a more remote work schedule.

"Local health departments have not documented an outbreak or cluster at KCC, which is a sign that our mitigation efforts are working to reduce the transmission of the virus from one person to another at the College," Kellogg Community College President Adrien L. Bennings said. "However, our institutional efforts haven't stopped individuals from contracting the virus elsewhere and bringing it with them into our buildings."

Campuses were expected to stay open with limited access for students and employees, and remote services would still be offered via the college's virtual services web page.

In a written statement, college representatives cited a rise in positive test rates in Branch County, Calhoun County and Barry County as a reason for the changes. Kellogg Community College has operations in all three counties.

Additionally, as of Tuesday, Nov. 10, the college had recorded 11 new cases in one week, tying a new record that had been set the week before. The college had reported a total of 63 cases since its first in July, but 34 of those had been reported in the four weeks prior to the announcement of changes.

"The undesired impacts on KCC's operations are clear. Over the past month, the amount of required quarantining alone has accelerated, resulting in reduced capacity, workload imbalances and heightened anxiety," Bennings said. "Because we expect the current surge and its impacts on KCC to continue for the foreseeable future, we are taking several actions to reduce the human footprint on our campuses and prevent gatherings of groups."

College representatives said online classwork for the fall semester would continue on schedule, with plans to begin the spring 2021 semester on Jan. 19, 2021 with the new changes already in place.

"Safety is paramount at KCC, which is why we are making decisions today to provide a safer learning and working environment for the months ahead," Bennings said.

Students were encouraged to follow COVID-19 related news from Kellogg Community College on the college's website.

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