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Finlandia University reports positive COVID test

HANCOCK — One person at Finlandia University has tested positive for coronavirus, the university announced Wednesday. 

To protect the person’s privacy, Finlandia is not releasing identifying details. The positive test is included among the recent results announced by the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department.

Finlandia is in Level 2 of its three-phase plan for returning to campus, triggered by the Upper Peninsula moving to phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan. 

Some employees were able to return to work starting June 15. Those included low-risk jobs with no frequent close contact with the public and minimal contact with employers, as well as moderate-risk work at North Wind Books and the Jutila Center.

But most members of the Finlandia community are still not on campus, said Vice President for Advancement Karin Van Dyke. Buildings are locked, while the classrooms, the Finnish American Heritage Center, Paavo Nurmi Center and the Maki Library remain closed.

“Those working on campus have the approval of their supervisors, and are working alone in their offices doing essential business,” she said in an email. “All those who can work from home, continue to work from home. Additionally, we have employees who are out on furlough through the end of July, so our employee density on campus is greatly reduced.”

Employees are required to undergo COVID-19 training and a daily health screening online assessment. 

Each building has cleaning stations at the front doors, Van Dyke said. The housekeeping and maintenance crews clean and sanitize each building, disinfecting all shared spaces including sanitation after use, and regular sanitation of all doorknobs, light switches, and shared computer equipment. 

Similarly, stringent disinfection protocol is in force for all restrooms; drinking fountains are turned off. Employees working in their offices are held responsible for their work areas.

The university began resuming socially-distanced on-campus tours on June 26. Visitors and staff are to wear masks at least during the indoors portions of the tours. Face coverings, sanitizer and gloves are available upon arrival if necessary.

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