East Central College (ECC)

At the East Central College Board of Trustees meeting, Monday, Aug. 31, President Dr. Jon Bauer told the board that the college has had six confirmed COVID-19 cases at its Union campus since Aug. 20.

Classes at the campus began Aug. 24.

The first case at ECC was confirmed Aug. 20 and was an employee. On Aug. 21,  a student also tested positive.

To date, there are seven employees and 13 students quarantined as a precaution and four employees who are isolated, according to Bauer.

Bauer said all data regarding positive virus cases at the Union and Rolla campuses will be posted on ECC’s website and updated regularly.

Dr. Michelle Smith, executive director for institutional effectiveness and the COVID-19 liaison for ECC, said the college is working to be as “transparent as possible” with the situation.

“The students who have tested positive are believed to have contracted the virus prior to the beginning of the semester,” Smith said. “The employees (who have tested positive) have been in roles without student contact.”

Bauer said ECC is prepared to move to an all-online platform if necessary.

“One of the things we will look at is the number of absentees with employees and students who are out sick and local conditions,” Bauer said. “While factors like the number of new cases or rate of transmission will be part of the equation, determining that decision goes beyond a single number or set of numbers.”

Another factor the college will consider is where outbreaks occur on campus and if they are connected to one another. Bauer said what would be most concerning for ECC would be an outbreak on campus with none of those infected connected to one another.

The college has taken precautionary measures. Masks are required when individuals are inside an ECC facility. The college also provides a reusable face mask to every student and employee.

In addition, kiosks have been placed around the campus with disposable face masks, hand sanitizer, touchless thermometers and gloves.

For more information on ECC’s COVID-19 data, visit https://www.eastcentral.edu/covid/ecc-covid-19-confirmed-cases/.