President Beth Dobkin has tested positive for COVID-19, the college announced in an email to faculty and staff Monday morning.
President Dobkin said she began experiencing cold-like symptoms on Nov. 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Five days later, she received her positive diagnosis.
“I’m thankful that my symptoms are mild, and my circle of contacts so small,” Dobkin said in the email announcement. “I have no idea where or how I might have been exposed, and I haven’t been on campus since November 23. Our precautions can’t protect us from everything, but I continue to believe they can help mitigate the spread and severity of the virus.”
Anyone who may have been exposed and is in need of a test has been notified, the administration told The Forum. College leadership already meets virtually, so it’s unlikely many have been impacted.
President Dobkin said she is unsure where she may have been exposed to the virus, noting several public safety precautions she’s taken over the previous months.
“I’ve been on campus throughout the pandemic, masked and working from the President’s office most days, and have enjoyed the few opportunities to eat lunch outside or chat (at a distance) on walkways,” Dobkin said. “We have diligently worn face coverings and followed distancing protocols.”
The announcement comes on the first day of Winter break for Westminster College. As of right now, the college confirms its Spring semester plans are not impacted.
Westminster will continue its current testing protocols throughout the Spring semester, including regular testing for student-athletes and residential students.
However, it’s no longer required for all students to be tested weekly according to a recent order by the governor. That’s because the state changed its testing requirements to apply only to private schools with more than 10,000 students.
As a result, Westminster — with roughly 2,000 students — will continue its current testing protocols.