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Northwestern College in Orange City, IA tries to mitigate COVID-19 spread

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ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- The president of Northwestern College said they're taking several steps to keep students and staff safe as they open the Orange City, Iowa, campus for the fall semester.

College President Greg Christy said with the guidance of Orange City area health departments, Northwestern decided to test student-athletes, coaches, resident assistants and other early-start students before they arrived on campus.

Christy said after the "gateway" tests, seven students were positive for COVID-19.

The students were then asked to quarantine and self isolate at home, before coming to the campus.

Christy said so far, the college seems to be doing a good job of handling the virus.

"We just are very blessed right now. We have two active cases, somewhere between two and five other students right now that are showing symptoms and getting tested. And we have about 19 students who are quarantining, and most of those are doing so at home," said Christy.

Christy said the college has added new measures to keep students and staff safe, including offering online courses, enforcing mask usage in buildings, and using a smartphone app that checks student health daily.

"Our students go in and they take their temperature. They reply to what the temperature says. If they are showing any symptoms, loss of smell, the typical things that come with coronavirus, and if nothing shows up as flagged. It shows up as green," said Christy.

Christy said a "green" response means the students can attend class, and enter buildings like the cafeteria or recreational rooms.

He said a "yellow" or "red" response means they need to speak to a campus nurse.

So far, Christy said the students have been willing to comply with the new measures, because he says most of them really want to enjoy their
college experience on campus.

Christy added that while the weather is nice, they've given professors the option to teach outside too, if they'd like.

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Leslie London

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