TCAT Elizabethton resumes in-person classes

Local Coronavirus Coverage

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton opened Monday after closing March 23rd.

This comes after restrictions by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee on classroom use expired April 30th.

Now, students, staff and visitors are being asked to wear masks. Those who do not wear masks will not be allowed on campus.

They will also be screened before entering the building and classrooms.

“It feels kind of scary, but also kind of exciting,” said Heidi Corbin, a nursing student. “I’m really excited to get it finished up, I’m ready to go be a nurse.”

President Dean Blevins said they will continue to monitor and make adjustments to operations on a day-to-day basis. Should COVID-19 numbers increase again, he said the school could possibly roll back to strictly online distance education learning.

“We really feel like we need to be back at work particularly in some of our skill intensive programs,” said Blevins, “welding, automotive technology and diesel, hard to teach those classes in an online format.”

All people will be asked if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been in close-contact with someone who has tested positive, have a fever and other related questions.

“If they do answer yes to any of the questions we pose, we would recommend they get tested at ETSU, it’s free or they can choose just to take a leave of absence and they need to quarantine themselves for about 14 days,” said Blevins.

Those who take a leave of absence or quarantine themselves can rejoin their program of study when they return.

“They won’t have to go to the bottom of any waiting list we have,” said Blevins, “they can come back as soon as they are ready and we’ll start them right back where they left off.”

Students and staff are also required to report any illness or contact with someone who has tested positive.

New students will not be at school until May 18th. Student Services Coordinator Patricia Henderson

“We are constantly bringing in students throughout every trimester. We need to make sure we have those students in place with social distancing, that we had enough classroom capacity.”

Dean Blevins said the school is operating on a day-to-day basis and hopes to resume normal operations by the end of the month or June.

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