Tabor College welcomes students back to campus
New Tabor College students sat in a coffee shop in the Shari Flaming Arts Center and waited for the results of a key test Thursday with their parents.
Their college journey started with a temperature check, a health screen, and a nose swab at a staging area.
A negative result for COVID-19 meant they bid their families goodbye and were escorted to their dorms. A positive test meant they must go home.
The hour-long process was only one of a series of stiff protocols designed to keep nearly 550 students and 150 employees free of the virus, according to Jules Glanzer, Tabor College president.
“We’re bringing in 600 people basically from all across the United States,” he said. “And so we are diligently testing, screening, taking temperatures daily trying to keep this place safe.”
Tabor has implemented a color-coded approach based on threat level.
Move-in and orientation week were level “Yellow” or moderate risk for the virus. Mask wearing is mandatory, and students will have daily temperature checks.
The college partnered with Vivature and Hillsboro Community Hospital to set up a rapid-antigen testing lab in the college’s old welcome center for mandatory screening.
Antigen tests detect certain proteins that are part of the virus and can produce results in minutes.
“They can’t go on campus unless they have a negative test,” Glanzer said.
Enforcement during move-in was swift. Visitors who strayed on campus were promptly escorted away by sharp-eyed staff to ensure everyone at Tabor had been screened.
Non-essential visits to Tabor are discouraged and students have been asked to minimize travel off campus.
“We are really ultra hypersensensitive to providing a safe learning environment,” Glanzer said.
Tabor has reduced the number of students in classrooms for the time being and will operate at level “Yellow” for at least another week.
“Those levels will be determined by what’s happening on campus,” he said.
Students who test positive for the virus will be quarantined in the old Hillsboro hospital at 701 Main St.
Glanzer said he was grateful for the cooperation that has aided Tabor during its reopening.
“The city has worked with us, the county has worked with us, and the local hospital has worked with us,’ he said. “…So I think we’re creating a safe learning environment and that’s what we want to do,” he said.
Last modified Aug. 13, 2020