Many Gettysburg College students will be heading home soon, according to a letter President Bob Iuliano sent the college community on Friday.
First-year students and “a cohort of other students” will be allowed to remain on campus, Iuliano wrote.
The college identified 31 new coronavirus cases this week, Iuliano wrote, bringing the total of positive tests over the past eight days to 64.
One hundred and fifty students are in quarantine because of contact tracing and there are “many others who have been in quarantine and since been cleared to return to residence,” Iuliano wrote.
“Sixty-four cases in a little more than a week must give us all considerable concern. It threatens to outstrip our ability to house and quarantine students, as well as our contact-tracing capacity,” Iuliano wrote.
“We are beginning to see symptomatic students. Regrettably, we find ourselves on a path that is not sustainable, and it has caused us to come to the necessary but regrettable judgment that we needed to act before our overarching commitment to community well-being was compromised,” he wrote.
The college has paused classes for one week, Iuliano wrote, and extended the fall semester one week.
The de-densification will begin Saturday, Iuliano wrote. When finished, the college will have about 900 students on-campus and 1,300 learning remotely.
Iuliano wrote that faculty have been preparing all summer to teach remotely should such a shutdown occur.
Students who are allowed to stay include first-year, transfer, international, student teachers with placements in local schools, student leaders and students with specific graduation requirements.
Students petitioning to remain on campus for academic reasons must complete a Housing Petition Form by Monday at noon.