Nearly 10 percent of the first roughly 500 students and employees tested for COVID-19 at Bethel College, in Kansas, have the virus, the local health agency and Bethel's president announced Monday.
In a videotaped statement, Jonathan Gering, Bethel’s president, said that “approximately 50” of those tested as they came to campus this week had the virus, including 43 students and seven employees. Those who tested positive were in isolation on the campus, and contact tracing had begun to identify others who had contact with those infected. Some of those identified are already in quarantine, Gering said.
The 43 infected students came from “faraway states and nearby locations as well,” Gering said. They represented a sizable fraction of Bethel’s roughly 500-student enrollment, since only about two-thirds of students had arrived on campus already for Wednesday’s planned first day of classes.
Gering said Bethel would delay the arrival of those students who had not yet come to the campus. “We’ll get you here when it's safe to do so,” he said. Courses will begin online.
He also said that the college had moved to “orange” in its color-coded virus response system, and that students would be discouraged from leaving campus and visitors barred from coming onto campus.