WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ) — At a time when college students across the country have been forced to learn online, McDaniel College in Carroll County is beating the odds.

Students are able to continue in-person learning.

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With a surge of statewide COVID-19 cases just before the holiday, McDaniel College has plenty to be thankful for.


Of the 3,000 students tested since August, only 28 tested positive for the virus.

“That really is a pretty remarkable number when you think about it,” McDaniel College President Roger Casey said.

Students at the University of Maryland, College Park and Towson University switched to various combinations of hybrid and remote learning.

McDaniel students were able to learn in person, with seven-week sessions split into two.

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Casey said partnerships with the Carroll County Department of Health, Quest Diagnostics and following their what-if plan made this possible.

While colleges elsewhere are enlisting safety influencers to promote pandemic safety, Casey said students at McDaniel are motivated by something greater.

“We’re about 40 percent, first-generation college students,” Casey said. “When you’re the first person in your family to go to college, I was the first person in my family to go to college, I think you have a real sense, this is a special, unique opportunity.”

As students venture home for a much-needed break, President Casey runs down the rules.

“I don’t care what you think personally, but think about the other person,” he said.

President Casey also said all students must get a flu shot. Students returning for the spring semester will need to quarantine first or be tested when they come back to campus.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.