Coronavirus Update – Oct. 8, 2020

Dear Students and Colleagues,

Thank you all for making a quick adjustment to distance learning this week while we assessed the data from student-athlete COVID surveillance testing results. I fully appreciate the stress that has caused professors and students alike. The time has allowed us to execute more expanded COVID testing of the student-athlete population, submit that data to our medical professionals and receive their recommendations. Based on that guidance, we will return to in-person instruction on Monday, October 12, 2020, and co-curricular activities may likewise proceed consistent with the #FortifyFranklin plan.

Of the athletic surveillance testing done between Saturday of last week and Monday morning of this week, we have 151 results, double the sample size of the previous week. The infection rate for this most recent testing of student-athletes is 8% (13positive results), deemed by our medical professionals as fully manageable in an environment that includes in-person instruction and activities within the #FortifyFranklin guidelines. Obviously, appropriate isolation and quarantine measures have been taken in each case of a positive test result.  

In addition to re-emphasizing all the mitigation strategies required in our health and safety plan, the following additional steps will be taken out of an abundance of caution:

  • All athletic teams will revert to the initial stage of the NCAA resocialization protocol.
  • All members of the football, men’s soccer and women’s soccer teams (those with the highest incidence rate in the previous limited-sample testing) will be required to produce a negative COVID test result before returning to any athletic activity.
  • The expanded scope of surveillance testing of student-athletes will continue biweekly, exceeding what is required by the NCAA.
  • Regular surveillance testing will extend to the non-athlete student population to a degree and by a process determined by the Office of Student Development over the coming week.

As we all discussed at the start of the semester, carrying on the business of Franklin College within the context of this illness requires everyone’s diligent compliance with the #FortifyFranklin plan and a sense of shared responsibility for the health safety of the community. While our greatest challenge is certainly COVID, it is followed closely by the human tendency toward complacency.  We all must be reminded that the safety protocols which guided our return to campus in August remain just as important today. They will be just as important for the foreseeable future.

Again, thank you to everyone for helping to ensure a safe campus full of healthy Grizzlies.


Kerry N. Prather
Franklin College
101 Branigin Boulevard, Franklin, Indiana  46131-2623 │ 317.738.8010