Blackhawk Technical College launches additional COVID-19 precautions

BTC has seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 related investigations.
Coronavirus testing sites
Coronavirus testing sites
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 7:01 PM CDT
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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WIFR) - COVID-19 rates continue to rise in Wisconsin, and closer to home, infection rates continue to increase in Rock County. Additional measures will be taken in the days ahead, according to Blackhawk Technical College.

The college is coordinating with the Wisconsin National Guard to offer free COVID-19 testing on campus. Testing will be offered on BTC’s Central Campus in Janesville beginning on Oct. 21 and will continue through Dec. 10. Testing will occur on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“The college has been diligent in its efforts to keep its students and employees safe. Those efforts will be increased in the days ahead to include offering flu shot clinics for students and employees, steps to enhance safety at all locations, and implementing testing options at its Central Campus in Janesville,” Blackhawk Technical College said in a release Monday.

Although there has not been spread of the virus on campus, college officials are not slowing their response to the virus.

“Our incident command team continues to monitor our situation very closely as we have seen a significant uptick in investigations following Labor Day,” BTC’s President Dr. Tracy Pierner said. “As a result of our extensive safety requirements, no community spread has occurred at Blackhawk. Our safety protocols are working. Wearing a facemask appropriately, staying six feet apart, good air exchange, and good hand hygiene and surface sanitization are essential to slowing the spread of the virus.”

BTC has seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 related investigations. For its students and employees, the college has acquired and will provide the option of at-home test kits through the investigative process. Individuals will complete a lower nasal swab and mail in the specimen via a postage-paid UPS label. The results will be private and confidential.

“Medical professionals are predicting that we are facing a difficult flu season. Many influenza symptoms are similar to COVID-19 symptoms; therefore, our region will be fighting off two viruses that can be deadly to high-risk populations. Throughout October, BTC will offer free flu shots to its students and employees,” the college said.

Drive-thru testing will be open to the community. No appointment is necessary, though pre-registration is recommended. You can pre-register here. Due to limited testing supplies, up to 300 tests will be administered per testing day. There will be signs directing the community who will enter the testing site from Sunny Lane off County Road G. Please contact Rock County Emergency Management at (608) 758-8440 with questions about the community testing.

Regular college updates regarding the pandemic are available here. Community-wide updates can be found here.

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