MCCC continues fight against COVID-19

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic located in the H Building on the MCCC campus is run and organized by the Monroe County Health Department with the help of local and National Guard volunteers (Photos by Lauren Werlinger).

Buildings and classrooms on MCCC are looking and running differently to help keep students and faculty safer with new precautions for COVID-19.

While most classes have been moved to online formats to keep students and staff safer, there are still a few classes that remain in-person on campus, implementing precautions put in line to follow social distancing guidelines.

Select science, humanities and social sciences courses are among the few classes still holding in-person meetings.

Linda Torbet, director Human Resources at MCCC, handles on-campus COVID cases and directs students and faculty as to what to do if they have tested positive.

As of March 26, Torbet has reported 13 student cases and two faculty cases, which contributes to the 10,977 total confirmed COVID-19 cases in Monroe County.

“It’s hard to say if cases will increase now that people are being vaccinated,” Torbet said.

When contacting a student or faculty member with a confirmed case, Torbet gathers information such as when their symptoms started, when they were last on campus and if they were wearing a mask.

After information is gathered, Torbet informs the Monroe County Health Department if the individual resides in Monroe County.

Kevin Cooper, dean of the Science and Math Division, is in charge of scheduling select few classes that are meeting face-to-face.

Monroe community member and mortgage industrialist, Sherry Pratt, fills out paperwork to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Cooper said he plans to have more face-to-face classes in the Spring and Winter semesters.

For lab classes, students are required to wear masks and a face shield. When touching or sharing materials, students are required to wear gloves.

An on-campus student who asked to remain unnamed due to privacy reasons said, “Having in-person classes are odd compared to last year having more students in class.”

The student is taking a science class where they are required to wear face shields while wearing masks, so when they are working in close contact with their lab partner it provides more protection.

Although it is not the way the student saw their last year of classes going, they are glad  MCCC is putting these precautions into place.

“It not only helps to keep us safe but to keep our community safe when we leave campus,” the student said.

After classes, custodians enter classrooms and perform a deep clean of all surfaces. Custodians wipe down all the surfaces that students or faculty have touched. After the sanitation process, the rooms sit untouched for an hour to make sure the materials are dried.

With social distancing in classrooms and online classes, MCCC has been trying to keep COVID cases down on campus Torbet said.

“We hope to see more faces on campus come next semester,” said Cooper toward custodial staff and faculty. “So keep up the good work MCCC.”