With several students and faculty impacted by COVID-19 on campus, one local university is persevering through the pandemic, while preparing to begin offering a new program following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Mayville State University, as of Sunday afternoon, has one active case of COVID-19, while more than 120 students and employees have recovered since the 19th of May. University President Brian Van Horn tells WZFG News that the University has “done miraculously well, compared to what general society has.”
Beginning November 30, the University will allow its students the opportunity to choose their learning method, using a program called “Comets Choose.”
“This is designed to primarily allow students to choose whether they want to be face to face or at a distance,” Van Horn says. “Also, if we can lower the density numbers on campus, there is even a lower percentage chance of spread of the virus.”
In addition, as the Thanksgiving holiday is upon students this week, Mayville State is asking its students to test for COVID-19 before leaving, if they choose to go home, and upon return to its campus.
While having to deal with the virus firsthand on his campus, Van Horn says one local hotel has been “super helpful” in helping to house Mayville State’s COVID-19 positive students.
Beth Swenson, Director of Public Relations for the college, says one student described the quarantine as “sad” when having to stay in a small room alone, but was grateful for the experience of staying in the University’s wellness center, which was turned into an area for housing COVID-19 positive students, when the hotel was unavailable. Many resources came together and turned the wellness center into a place of comfort for kids battling the virus. Meals were brought in; a gym was available and study areas were also made available for students while they battled COVID-19.