MAYVILLE, N.D. – Mayville State will be housing students who have tested positive for the coronavirus in its campus wellness center as the small North Dakota campus sees a surge in cases.

In a letter to the campus sent Saturday, Oct. 31, the university said it will be implementing the campus emergency operations plan, which establishes that housing be provided in the Wellness Center gym. Cots and bedding are provided by the American Red Cross.

The letter said the process of moving individuals into the gym would be completed by the end of the day Saturday.

“Moving positive cases to the Wellness Center will free up available housing space needed for those who are identified as close contacts,” the letter said.

The news comes as the campus sees a rise in active COVID-19 cases. The campus dashboard shows there are 24 on-campus residents who have tested positive for the virus, plus an additional 17 students who live off campus and 13 MSU employees, as of Saturday morning. The campus has a total of 30 close contacts.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The campus held a testing event on Oct. 27, the results of which are still coming in, according to the letter.

“Because of limited housing available on campus and in the community, there is not much flexibility for appropriately accommodating those with active COVID-19 cases or who are close contacts,” the university said. “We are confident that setting up a centralized location in which they can stay is the best way for us to take good care of our students who are sick.”

Meals will be delivered to those in the gym.

The Wellness Center will be closed until further notice.

Any community classes normally held in the Wellness Center are suspended until further notice. Those enrolled in an academic class that is held in the Wellness Center should await direction from the course instructor regarding the alternative meeting location for class.

Mayville State President Brian Van Horn says the campus will continue with “full campus operations.”

“While this is a challenging time, I want you to know that there is no need to panic,” he said in the letter. “We are currently able to be responsive to all needs associated with the situation and are supporting all who are in need. We will stay the course and continue with full campus operations with support for remote participation within on-campus classes for students and faculty who are in isolation or quarantine, health-permitting.”

Traill County has 106 active cases of COVID-19, as of Saturday. The county has seen a steep increase in cases this week. On Tuesday, Oct. 27, the county reported 57 active positives; since then, the numbers have only grown.

Comets call off football games

Earlier this week, Mayville State announced its next two football games were being called off due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Comets were scheduled to play Dakota State in Madison, S.D., on Saturday, and Valley City State in Mayville on Nov. 7.

These aren't the first coronavirus cancellations for the football team, either.

Mayville State already postponed a September home game schedule against Dakota State due to an outbreak.

The Comets, who play in the North Star Athletic Association, are 1-4.