Only three COVID-19 cases reported on Marietta College Campus in six weeks

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 8:50 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) - In six weeks of classes, Marietta College has only reported three cases of COVID-19 on its campus. The third case was just confirmed in week six after a student who tested negative for the virus twice got an antibody test which verified he had had the virus.

College officials credit their success to their students who have shown a willingness to follow strict rules in order to stay on campus.

“Our students are a big reason as to why this has been successful. they have bought into what it means and what it takes to maintain in-person learning on campus, to try to get through the entire semester without having to take any breaks or switch to online learning,” said Vice President of Communications and Brand Management Tom Perry.

Officials with the college say they don’t think their success could be mimicked at a larger, public university like the one in neighboring Athens County. For one, Marietta College has a much smaller student body than Ohio University, and most Pioneer students live on campus. This gives the college greater control over what their students can do.

After Marietta College officials noticed gatherings in residence halls that were deemed too large in the early weeks of school, Pioneer leaders put their feet down.

“We sent a very clear message that if those sort of incidents continued to happen, that the responsible parties would be sent home to finish the semester from home and would not be eligible for a room and board refund, if that was the reason they were sent home,” said Vice President for Student Life and Diversity Richard Danford.

Another key factor at Marietta College is that students are willing to comply with strict rules if it means they get to continue learning in-person.

Patrick Elliott is a student at Marietta College. He is also the president of his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta. He says his fraternity has had to cancel most of their usual activities, including parties and community service activities.

He says its all worth it just to stay on campus.

“Zoom class and online class didn’t work for me at all,” said Elliott.

You can read more about some of the rules in place for students by clicking here.

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