Berea College closes Child Development Laboratory due to COVID-19 cases

BEREA — The Child Development Lab (CDL) at Berea College was closed Friday after the school announced three positive COVID-19 test results, including two employees and one child of an employee at the facility.

Tim Jordan, media relations at Berea College, confirmed the college was informed of the positive test results late Thursday afternoon and began contacting employees and clients of the CDL.

College administrators said the CDL will be closed through Monday to allow the health department to conduct contact tracing.

Jordan said on Friday, the college will "take its cues" from the health department on when the CDL can reopen safely and whether more teachers or students need to be quarantined.

The CDL serves as a learning laboratory for college students and staff involved in the Child and Family Studies Program and serves approximately 65 children. 

After shuttering briefly in the spring, Berea College enacted strict protocols and procedures to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The college requires anyone entering a college-owned building to wear a face mask and continue to wear the mask in all common areas and shared workspaces, as well as outdoors on college property.

Berea College also restricts the use of buffs, neck gaiters, bandanas, and similar garments as face coverings.

According to the college's online COVID-19 dashboard, as of Oct. 5, there were only two employees in isolation because of positive COVID-19 test results and one employee in isolation due to close contact with a person who tested positive for the virus. There were no students listed as being in quarantine or isolation at that time.

According to Jordan, since classes have resumed, the college has only had a handful of positive COVID-19 cases.

"We have periodic testing of everyone on the campus," Jordan explained. "Thankfully, we've had very few positive cases and a few that have quarantined as a precaution."

Berea College tests 10 different employees each day between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. at a drive-up testing location situated at St. Joseph’s Hospital adjacent to campus. The testing is mandatory.

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