Knox's Community Guidelines for COVID-19
Knox's policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was referred to as "Knox Together 2020-2021" but I think that name is lame as hell.
- 1 Policies
- 2 Timeline
- 3 Notes
Every day Knox students would receive an email asking about covid symptoms, test results, and temperature. Students were required to fill out this survey everyday. Depending on your results, you were either asked to stay inside, placed in quarantine, or were good to go.
When students first arrived on campus during the pandemic, they were placed in initial quarantine. Initial quarantine resulted in students taking a covid test, and staying inside of their dorms for their results. Masks were required to be worn at all times except in student's own dorms. Students could not leave the campus. Students would quarantine in their dorms until their first test result, then which they would take a second one. After receiving their first negative test result, students would move into modified quarantine.
When students received their first negative result, they would be placed into modified quarantine. Modified quarantine lasted 2 weeks. During this time students were able to hang out in their suite and walk around on campus. Students were not able to leave the county, but could go into town. Masks were required at all times except in students own dorms. After 2 weeks, students were able to go into a regular quarantine.
When students finished quarantining, they were allowed to hang out with other students in other suites, go to classes, and eat food in the cafeteria. Students did have to social distance and wear masks at all times.
Positive Test Results
If students received a positive or inconclusive test result, or were in contact with a student who tested positive, they were placed into quarantine. Students were placed into Conger-Neal for 2 weeks until they received a negative test result. These were referred to as the quarantine dorms. Students had their food delivered to them, and could not leave the building until they tested negative, or were in quarantine for 2 weeks. Knox kept a record of all students in quarantine to keep track of the positive cases on campus.
After students received vaccines, they were able to go mask-less outside, but required a mask inside of academic buildings.
General Student Reaction
A giant majority of students were very diligent about following protocols, as they wished to keep themselves and everyone else around them safe. Some students remained home during part or all of the year. Not all students were safe, as there were some illegal parties throughout the year, or some groups of students would not wear masks in private, or many students purposefully wore their masks incorrectly.
Many students also did not fill out the daily symptom tracking, as they deemed it too tedious, or lied on the survey as any marking of any symptom would send an alert to the health services, even if that symptom was from a disability or other previous condition. For example one of the symptoms listed was headaches, which can have many causes that do not include covid, such as eyestrain from zoom class, not getting enough sleep, or even being hungover.
Winter Break 2019 - Winter Term 2020
Word of a mysterious new coronavirus was spreading through China. At first we had all assumed that it wasn't anything to be too worried about, but oh boy were we wrong. I don't know if Knox released any statements regarding the outbreak in either late 2019 or during winter term 2020 (as the person writing this was not a student at the time), but I'm sure there was something.
Spring Term 2020
During the academic year of 2019-2020, there was a global pandemic of the virus Covid-19. Knox switched to Virtual Classes using the program Zoom. Flunk day became virtual, and students were sent home.
Fall Term 2020
Knox College decided to open up campus during the fall term, though students could choose to take entirely virtual classes from home. There were many guidelines in place about how to stay safe during these times. All students on campus were covid tested, and placed into quarantine until they received their results a few days later. Modified quarantine resulted in students staying inside their dorms, only leaving to grab food at the cafeteria (social distanced of course), and having masks on at all times excluding dorm rooms. After students received their test results, they would either be placed into modified quarantine if they were given a negative result, or placed into quarantine if given a positive or inconclusive result. Knox only tested about 10% of the student body every week, and students were chosen at random. The tests were unpleasant, as you had to get a cotton swap up your nose.
Knox kept track of the percentage of positive testing and quarantined students on record, and would publish the data on their website. Positive testing and quarantined students were kept anonymous on the data. The percentage of positive testing students was always very low, but the quarantined student percentage was always slightly higher. There were many instances of an athlete testing positive, which resulted in the the entire team of that sport being quarantined. This was confirmed the case for Men's Soccer, Men's Football, and Woman's Swimming, as well as a few other teams.
Many things on campus were changed extensively, from hours of facilities, to the cafeteria, to classrooms. Students were advised to only stay on campus, and required permission to leave the county. The gym was only open for athletes and had to be closed every few hours for cleaning. The cafeteria originally was just a tent outside that gave students to go boxes with food and a few snacks, but eventually changed back to the cafeteria building where the staff would serve limited amounts of food buffet style with limited inside seating. A majority of classes were remote, but some had the option to go in person as a hybrid class. These hybrid classes both had students in person and on zoom. If you were in person, masks and social distancing were still required. Many clubs were still on campus, but were limited in their activities and membership.
Even though the pandemic stopped many events, that is not to say that this year was uneventful. Improv Club still had a show, Ultimate Frisbee was revamped and became very popular, and a protest even happened on campus, which you can read about in Fall 2020 Protest. Official ensembles on campus were still able to practice, all be it in a limited fashion. Terpsichore, Choir, and Theater were all able to at least practice throughout the term.
During this time, because of Teresa Amott's retirement at the end of the year, a search for a new president was on it's way. With both faculty and student committees dedicated to finding the right candidate.
Winter Term 2021
The first half of winter term was entirely virtual. After 5 weeks off campus, students were given one week off to quarantine back on campus. The same policies were in place, but the tests were swapped to saliva tests, and every student was tested every 2 weeks. Vaccines were open in Peoria for students who had previous conditions.
Many things had opened up a bit more, as the gym became open to everyone and not just athletes, and the caf allowed more students to eat inside. These changes felt very minimal, as due to the cold weather most students remained inside regularly.
The search for a new President was still on it's way, and after many rounds of interviews, the committees had decided that Dr. Andy McGadney would become the next president of Knox College. Throughout the process he was noted for his inclusivity, as after a student asked a question regarding KDSA, he made sure to mention in all of his following comments what changes he could implement for disabled students. He was also noted for wearing a bowtie to all interviews.
Spring Term 2021
The same policies were put in place, but vaccines were open to many more on campus. Vaccine clinics were held to help get students fully vaccinated. By the end of the year a large majority of students and faculty were vaccinated. Because students were given a week off in the middle of winter term, spring break became non-existent. Many rules regarding masks were lifted as students became vaccinated, as if you were fully vaccinated you were able to go outside with out a mask and hang out with other vaccinated students inside with out a mask. Though all academic buildings still required a mask.
After 10 years, President Teresa Amott retired on July 1st, and Dr. McGadney took over as the 20th President of Knox College.
Summer Term 2021
Knox started offering summer classes for the first time, with many classes offering a remote/hybrid option. Masks were still required in person. Classes were often only half credits, though it was possible for students to take more than one class.
Dr. Andy McGadney became president of Knox College. In an interview with TSPR, McGadney released some details about his personal life and his plan for the upcoming 2021-2022 year, developing "an alternative plan that would require testing". 
Knox required all students and faculty to be fully vaccinated, (with religious exceptions).
- “Latest Updates - Knox Together: COVID-19 Plans & Policies.” Knox College, www.knox.edu/knoxtogether/latest-updates.
- Egger, Rich. “Busy Start For Knox's New President.” Tri States Public Radio, 28 July 2021, www.tspr.org/post/busy-start-knoxs-new-president.