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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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April 15, 2024

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Knox Covid-19 numbers remain low despite continuing relaxed policies


Covid-19 surged across the nation this winter. However, Knox College policies remain lenient.

Vice President of Student Development Dr. Marquita Barker says that Knox policies are in line with almost all other institutions in the US and with the CDC guidelines.

“I know there are some people who would like more restrictions, but Covid is kind of here with us right now,” she said. “We have to learn to manage it in the way that we manage other illnesses.”

The numbers are low, says Barker. About three weeks ago, there were about 20 cases on campus, most of whom were close contacts with each other. That is the largest spike Knox has seen in over six months. There were several months where no cases were reported at all.

But Knox no longer tracks case rates in the same way. Students must self-report to health services after testing, and it’s possible not all of them are.

“I do think people aren’t reporting in the same way that they used to,” said Barker. “But the ones we know about we do track, and we do ask them to isolate.”

The policies for those who contract Covid-19 remain the same. Students, faculty, or staff who test positive must isolate for five days.

Knox is no longer offering antigen testing as the company they were working with discontinued the testing. Knox paid for the testing with Covid-19 relief funds, which have run out.

The college now offers free at home tests to students. Students can get one free test a week from Health Services. Tests are also now being sold in the C-store.

Vaccines and masks remain optional, though vaccines are recommended. The college does not require them because they are not required by the state of Illinois.

Barker says the college also recommends students mask and stay home if they have another illness. Though, as always, whether or not this is an excused absence is up to the discretion of professors.

“We are still taking [Covid-19] very seriously,” said Barker. “We want people to be healthy and safe.”

CORRECTION 2/22: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that students can get 3 free tests from Health Services. They can only get one.

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About the Contributor
Eleanor Lindenmayer
Eleanor Lindenmayer, Editor-In-Chief
Eleanor Lindenmayer '25 (she/her) is a journalism major. She started working for TKS as a staff writer when she was in her first year. She has also worked as the discourse editor and is now the Editor-in-Chief. Eleanor has also been published at Tri States Public Radio, where she was an intern and a freelancer. Eleanor was born and raised in the pacific northwest and will argue that there is no better place on this earth. Awards Illinois College Press Association 2024
  • 1st Place In Depth Reporting
  • 1st Place News
  • 1st Place Feature
Illinois College Press Association 2023
  • 2nd Place Columns
  • Honorable Mention Columns
Knox College 2023 Ida M. Tarbell Memorial Prize For Investigative Reporting    

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