By Aaron Strain / Staff Writer

The Reno County Health Department identified a cluster of seven confirmed COVID-19 positive cases at Hutchinson Community College.

According to Thursday’s health department statement, six of the seven cases reside in Reno County. HutchCC is working with the department and local medical providers to identify the individuals and contact trace to reduce the virus’ spread.

“A COVID-19 outbreak, also known as a cluster, is two or more associated cases outside of the household. An outbreak will not be closed until two consecutive cycles of incubation periods are completed without a new case or equal to twenty-eight days,” the statement said.

There are eight total clusters in Reno County, six of which are active.

The statement contained no further information regarding the college cluster.

An announcement email containing a link to the health department release, and a question reference email address, was sent to students at 5 p.m. Thursday. As of Thursday night, the email is the only communication from the college regarding the day’s news. 

HutchCC implemented sweeping new policies to stop the spread this year, including socially distanced classrooms, mandatory mask-wearing and increased sanitization practices. 

Distributed across campus and available online, the “Healthy HutchCC” booklet contains a daily self-assessment checklist, a list of contacts for students who believe to be exposed to the virus and an outline of campus policies. The latest information regarding coronavirus and campus is published on the HutchCC COVID-19 page.

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