38 LLCC athletes have tested positive for COVID


Richard Bailey, Editor

Thirty-eight Lincoln Land student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 this semester, the college said in response to a freedom of information act request from The Lamp.

It was previously reported that 24 people tested positive for coronavirus after a “college party” that was attended by “many sports teams” from the “local community college” in Springfield. That information came from a Documenting COVID-19 project at Columbia University‚Äôs Brown Institute for Media Innovation report that tracks COVID-19 positive cases and outbreak sites.

“Student-athletes are currently further required to receive prior approval from the director of athletics before attending any social gathering that exceeds public health recommendations,” Lynn Whalen, the chief communications officer for the college, said in response to earlier questions from The Lamp.

Whalen also said students must adhere to the same rules about mask-wearing and social distancing, as well as follow rules set by the team’s coach and college’s athletic director.

In response to the freedom of information act request, the college said no student-athletes have faced disciplinary action for violation of the Athletic Code of Conduct.

If a student-athlete does test positive, the college follows the current IDPH and CDC guidelines and protocols, Whalen said. Those same guidelines would apply to any student that would test positive for the virus.

The number of student-athletes at LLCC who were confirmed positive was 38, but only 6 student-athletes had an on-campus presence.

The college said 32 of the students who tested positive receive scholarships for playing sports on Loggers teams.

“We are continuing to learn and implement new safety measures where possible. One such measure is the current installation of bipolar ionization units in our buildings. These units will ensure high air quality by filtering out contaminants.”

Through the end of October, the college has reported that 32 students, out of 2,074 individuals who have had some portion of their coursework in person have tested positive (11 in August, 10 in September, and 11 in October). That number would include the six student-athletes who take some classes in person.

“Out of an abundance of caution, 27 fall classes have been moved to remote for short periods of time.” Whalen said.

Since the pandemic began, the college reports that 12 faculty and staff have tested positive.

According to the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, 582 new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in Sangamon County over the weekend, ending Sunday Nov. 8. That brings the county’s total positive cases to 5,983.

Four additional people died over the weekend ending Nov. 8, bringing the county’s fatalities to 73, according to the health department.