KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Six members of Western Michigan University's aviation program have tested positive for coronavirus.
In a letter to students, the dean of the aviation program said the students likely contracted the virus off campus.
Captain David Powell closed their Battle Creek facility until August 10th in order to deep clean the building, planes and simulators.
Powell said, "As a college, we have gone to great lengths to establish precautions for in-person instruction and work in order to keep our community safe. Our planes and simulators are cleaned after each use and cleaned intensively each night."
Powell noted they are also following multiple other recommendations like making hand sanitizer available, requiring masks and social distancing wherever possible.
He went on to say, "Yet I cannot overemphasize that COVID-19 precautions are required at all times- on campus and off.The disease does not clock out when you leave campus. I have learned that, unfortunately, the affected individuals attended a social gathering where people appropriate precautions were not taken."
"I have subsequently heard from several of those involved that they felt that "it couldn't happen to them." Now, they have deep regret about their choices."
Powell asked students to follow the same rigorous standards in their personal lives that they are asked to follow on campus.
"We are one of the top aviation schools in the county," he said. "I would very much like to see us set a positive example for the WMU community. I know we can do that because I see the excellence in our students, faculty and staff every day."