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COVID-19 Rates at local colleges

Before anyone can enter the building at Jackson State community college, they have to scan a QR code. One is for current students and employees, and the other is for visitors.

“Everyone fills out the COVID report before they’re allowed to come on campus and answer certain questions,” said Dr. George Pimentel, president of Jackson State Community College.

Pimentel says that is one of the ways the institution keeps track of COVID-19 cases.

“it seems to be managing our crisis right now, or at least our cases on campus,” he said.

Each Wednesday, he and the COVID-19 response team meet to discuss virus exposures and quarantines.

“We have seven students that are positive and have zero positive employees, and 13 recovered previously,” said Pimentel.

So far, for this semester, the positivity rate remains under one percent.

Over on the Union University campus, there are two active cases for the student body and one active case for faculty and staff.

The faith-based institution participates in in-person learning, and new newcomers believe the staff is doing their best to keep students safe.

“I was nervous about maybe school looking a little different, but I think Union has done all they can to promote that freshmen or college lifestyle while still being safe,” said Ryan Columbus, a student at Union University.

Lane College is closed temporarily after 18 students tested positive for COVID-19. That is less than two percent of the student body.

For UT Martin, this week, there 23 active student cases.

On all of the campuses, when a student or faculty member tests positive, they must quarantine. All of the people they came in contact with must isolate also.

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