Kenwood House holds zero COVID-19 positive students following a week where its max capacity for students in isolation was reached. Vacant apartments and quarantine spaces in the Miller dormitory are also becoming more available as the number of positive cases on campus declines. 

After a record high 22 people were reported to be in isolation last Wednesday, Oct. 17, Goshen College saw a decrease in new COVID-19 cases in the last seven days. 

The spread of the coronavirus continued, however, as 15 new cases were reported between students and faculty, bringing the cumulative number on campus since Aug. 17 to 59. 

Chad Coleman, director of campus safety and housing operations, said the reason for the openings in isolation and quarantine housing is largely due to the affected groups being non-residential or residential students opting to live at home during the 10 or 14 day period. 

“Eight of the 12 [students] currently in isolation are doing [so] at home,” he said.

The lower numbers are a good reason to celebrate for the time being according to Kevin Miller, lead contact tracer.

“Any day that we can release more students from quarantine and isolation than we put in is a good day,” he said.

Although positive cases are still rolling in, Miller said the spread is more isolated than reports during the spike last week.

“For the most part [positive cases] are not related to one another and are primarily related to off campus exposures,” he said. 

This news comes after numerous confirmed cases that were linked within the athletic department and various teams on campus.

In response to the lower numbers, the Rec-Fit Center has reopened and athletic teams currently in-season resumed in-person meetings and practices on Tuesday, Oct. 20. (For more information, see the SPORTS section.

A change that has been implemented in the last week was a closer collaboration with Goshen Family Physicians.

COVID-19 testing has begun for students who have been in quarantine for 4-6 days following their exposure. Because of this, Miller said the Pandemic Task Force has been able to catch cases earlier than before. 

In addition to testing, the college is considering further screening strategies to stay ahead of the virus. Although the specifics haven’t been finalized, this is part of a broader conversation within the Pandemic Task Force regarding strategies for the spring semester, Miller said.