Smoky Mountain News, written by Admin

Southwestern Community College officials confirmed on June 20 that a student has reported testing positive for COVID-19.

It’s the first case involving a student or employee at the college. The student was last at the Jackson Campus on Monday, June 15. SCC officials are working with local health department officials to locate anyone who may have come into contact with the individual.

All employees and students determined to have come into contact with the student have been notified and urged to get tested. Relevant classes have been canceled for Monday, June 22.

College administrators were made aware of the diagnosis directly by the student after 5 p.m. on Friday, June 19, and informed all students and employees via texts, calls and emails later that evening.

Due to federal privacy laws, no information about the individual can be released at this time.

SCC officials urge anyone who was at the college’s Jackson Campus on Monday, June 15, and is experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) to isolate and contact a healthcare provider immediately.

Friday evening, housekeeping crews thoroughly cleaned and disinfected all locations where the student reported having visited.

Since the pandemic began, SCC officials have followed all protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services – as well as direction from N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper.

On March 24, SCC primarily transitioned to a virtual college – other than a handful of programs designated as essential by state officials. Following Gov. Cooper’s phased reopening plan, designated employees began returning to campus for a soft reopening on May 26. While most summer classes are meeting online, classes that require face-to-face instruction began meeting on June 1.

Between March 24 and May 26, crews outfitted all SCC locations with plexiglass partitions, sanitizing stations and signage aimed at keeping employees, students and visitors safe.

Ongoing efforts to enhance those measures are still underway.