Michigan colleges transition to remote learning with varying case counts

Following the statewide epidemic order, all Michigan colleges have transitioned to remote learning. As the in-person semester came to a close, Calvin and comparable schools differed greatly in final case counts.

Calvin’s active COVID case numbers spiked in the week prior to the announcement of Michigan’s three-week “pause.” As of Monday, Nov. 16, there were 64 active cases in the Calvin community, including 11 employees. Prior to the press conference Sunday night, however, Calvin had announced no plans to move classes entirely online, sticking to the originally planned date of Nov. 24, although all students were given the option to switch to remote learning.

Hope College completed its fall in-person semester as planned Friday Nov. 16, according to the Holland Sentinel, moving to remote learning prior to final exams. There were 166 COVID cases in the Hope community as of Nov. 16. Hope’s former president, Dr. Gordon Van Wylen of Holland, passed away due to complications from COVID-19 on Nov. 5.

Albion College had stopped in-person instruction and shut down residential life prior to the announcement of new regulations, asking students to return home by Nov. 14. The spike of cases in Calhoun county and the high positivity rates decided the early shutdown. Like Calvin, Albion was originally supposed to continue in-person learning until Thanksgiving break. Students were to depart by Nov. 25, then proceed with classes online through final exams.

Albion shut down with 53 student cases and eight employee cases, a total of 4 fewer cases than Calvin currently has. Albion’s student population is less than half of Calvin’s, which means Albion has a much higher rate of cases than Calvin has. According to MLive, Albion has not changed its plans regarding in-person instruction beginning again on Jan. 25.

The Lenawee County Health Department shut down Adrian College in September. Since then, the school has bounced back and finished with just five active cases as of Nov. 12, according to a weekly case report. According to Lenconnect, Adrian also recently announced plans to preemptively move its 2020 commencement ceremony, which had already been delayed from May 2020 to May 2021, citing hesitance about the likelihood of gathering-size restrictions lifting in time for the planned winter commencement.