DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) As COVID-19 cases surge in Wisconsin, educators at St. Norbert College are counting their blessings. Kris Schuller reports, so far this school year, the college has kept the coronavirus under control.
At St. Norbert College President Brian Bruess has much to smile about. While some colleges have struggled with COVID-19 outbreaks, so far on his campus students remain in the classroom and the coronavirus kept in check.
“On campus is about as safe as a place that a student can be, given all the precautions we’ve taken,” Bruess said.
Since July the college has had 230 confirmed cases, numbers which St. Norbert’s health director says proves the college’s COVID plan is working.
“I think that the cases we have identified and communicated is a good number. We did see cases on campus, but we were able to curtail any large outbreaks,” said Chrystal Woller.
Woller says the plan is familiar – masks, social distancing, washing of hands and when cases are suspected testing, isolation and then quarantine.
“Those public health prevention measures, the only tools we have in our toolbox have proved effective,” Woller said.
But Bruess says what gives the plan power is total buy-in from the student body.
“The common buy-in to the common good is unrivaled here at SNC,” said student Oliver Dressel.
“I really think it just deals with our campus community really caring for one another. I certainly wouldn’t want to give it to my friends or anything like that,” said student Jessica Sweetman.
“The secret of our success has been the community response,” Bruess said.
The success the college has had in its efforts to minimize the impact of the virus has not gone unnoticed.
“I’ve been in conversations with other presidents or other college universities from across the country,” Bruess said.
And he is happy to share his college’s story – a plan that’s kept students in class – while cases around them surge.
“Together as a community we’ve been able to produce some really remarkable results in a state, in a county, really struggling with cases,” said Bruess.
Bruess says not a single case of COVID-19 found on campus has been traced back to a classroom.