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WGLT's reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, which began in McLean County in March 2020.

Lincoln College Preps Return To Classrooms After COVID Spike Subsides

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Lincoln College
Lincoln College administrators said they remain hopeful the rest of the in-person and hybrid period of the semester will go well after a spike in COVID-19 cases forced a temporary move to online learning.

Lincoln College will go back to hybrid learning Monday after a two-week quarantine and virtual learning period.

College President David Gerlach said a spike in COVID-19 cases has subsided. The campus in Logan County peaked at 35 students in quarantine with 13 confirmed COVID cases. The current count is four COVID isolation cases and four exposed people in quarantine.

"I do think the pause caused our students to think twice about their actions. Things seemed to improve as we furthered our messaging," said Gerlach.

He said he did not see too much egregious behavior even before the outbreak, though a memorial service for a student who died in Chicago violence did not have as much mask compliance and distancing as desired. Gerlach said he did have a conversation with the student body leader after that gathering.

Gerlach said the overall management plan remains the same, but there is a tweak from before the halt to in-person instruction.

"Students are to take their temperatures and note their symptoms, then report them. We recently installed temperature screening stations at each building, making it more convenient," said Gerlach, adding the college also has added isolation bed capacity.

Lincoln College is far from the only campus to register a spike in student COVID-19 cases followed by a decline. Gerlach said that might be an indication students desire an in-person education experience and will do the things needed to allow that to happen.

"I remain hopeful that we'll be able to manage with healthy young people who recover. We have a lot of people who have recovered from this issue. My hope is that things remain positive," said Gerlach.

Lincoln College has a 700-person enrollment with another 250 adult accelerated learners.

There are about 10 weeks left until Thanksgiving break. After that, Lincoln College will move to a remote learning model for the rest of the semester.

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