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After 12 COVID-19 cases, Colorado College moves classes online, reduces campus housing

Students in three residence halls had already been ordered to quarantine in the few weeks since school began, school officials said.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — After at least 12 positive cases of COVID-19, 11 students and one staff member, and a bleak outlook from El Paso County Public Health to "expect rolling waves of large quarantines," Colorado College officials announced Tuesday that they're moving all classes online.

Classes will be held remotely for the remainder of Block 1, which ends Sept. 16. Remote learning will be likely for the entire fall semester for the liberal arts college located in Colorado Springs, officials said.

"Despite our rigorous and successful testing, retesting, and response protocol, and our low incidence of positive cases, the El Paso County Public Health Department has required us to quarantine entire residence halls," an online letter from the school says.

"The department tells us to expect rolling waves of large quarantines going forward. The residential liberal arts experience is a special element of life at CC, but we can’t offer a quality residential experience to our students under these circumstances. "

As part of the announcement, officials said they hoped to provide in-person or hybrid fall classes for a "limited number of students" to take for their degree progression. 

They also plan to "significantly reduce" the number of students living on campus and said on-campus students should plan to leave campus by Sept. 20 unless they're already enrolled in one of the few in-person or hybrid classes the school hopes to provide. 

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Officials said they would let those students know by Thursday if they have permission to stay. 

Details about student move out will be emailed to students.

Due to cases of COVID-19 on campus, students South and Mathias halls are under a required quarantine from the local county health department. A quarantine for students in Loomis Hall ended Sunday.

Those in South and Mathias halls may leave when their quarantine ends at noon on Sept. 12.

Quarantined students who live within a few hours’ driving distance and who can be driven home by a family member or responsible adult without stopping may leave at any time, according to school officials.

Housing will continue to be provided for international students and students who are in dire need, the school said.

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The college plans to credit the accounts of all students living in Loomis, Mathias, and South halls for their Block 1 room charges. That includes students who had room assignments in those halls but were moved elsewhere for quarantine or isolation.

On Thursday, they'll announce a decision and announcement regarding students who may be on campus for Blocks 2, 3, and 4 which are all part of the fall semester.

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