Bladen Community College in Bladen County, NC announced today that one of its students tested positive for COVID-19. The college has been conducted limited operations (including on-campus classes) since March. Bladen Community College isn’t big; it enrolls fewer than 900 students. But it now acknowledges that limiting its operations was not enough to avoid the disease. WCC has yet to announce what its COVID-19 plan is. According to a recent announcement, the campus will remain closed until at least August 1.
Bladen Community College demonstrated people will still bring COVID-19 to campus, even when the College limits its operations. By population, Bladen County is in the bottom-third of North Carolina’s 100 counties. (The population of Pittsfield Township exceeds the population of Bladen County.) For the most part, it is an out-of-the-way place. But coronavirus cases are in Bladen County and they are growing daily. Bladen Community College is now working with the county Health Department to determine its next steps.
Knowing how WCC plans to offer classes is only one part of the information students and families need. They also need to know WCC’s COVID-19 plan to keep students, faculty and staff safe once in-person operations resume. In addition, community members need to have a better understanding of what circumstances will trigger a campus closure. How does WCC plan to perform contact tracing for individuals on campus? What is the status of ancillary facilities like the Child Care Center and the Health and Fitness Center? How will WCC handle sanitation and PPE? What is the food service plan?
COVID-19 cases will likely emerge on WCC’s campus during the fall semester, if WCC operates at least some in-person classes. At this point, a full explanation of WCC’s COVID-19 plan is not too much to ask.
Photo Credit: Olgierd Rudak , via Flickr