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Campus strives to be COVID-free

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NEWBERG — It’s a huge challenge these days to keep a college or university campus free of the coronavirus, and George Fox University here can’t claim complete success as fall term proceeds, but it is coming close to it.

The university each week makes public its COVID-19 count, and has seen only three cases thus far out of the hundreds of people on campus this fall, and steps have been taken to keep the virus well contained.

As reported by the Newberg Graphic, the university on Sept. 17 announced its first positive COVID cases – “fewer than five.”  A graph shown at www.georgefox.edu/covid19/virus/cases.html indicated specifically three cases among students then, but late in the month there was only one case reported.

Rob Felton, the university’s director of executive communication, told the newspaper that Yamhill County health officials have asked that details of the cases not be shared because of privacy concerns. Felton said privacy is also a high priority for the university, because if students didn’t trust the school to maintain it, they might not come forward with information about their illness or their interactions with others.

Knowing that it was unlikely the virus could be avoided entirely, George Fox administrators set up a variety of protocols to deal with the threat. The university has isolation areas set up for students who contract the virus and various methods of reporting contact with an infected person so students and staff can protect themselves.

If and when COVID cases arise, students and those in the community are urged to be vigilant of who they’ve interacted with and to stay home if they have symptoms.

Full information for George Fox students, faculty and staff — as well as the public — on the university’s approach to dealing with COVID can be found at GeorgeFox.edu