By Lilyen Mccarthy and Lizz Panchyk
Covid-19 cases have been rapidly increasing over the winter break. Schools around the country have announced remote learning to some extent while others have resumed total in-person learning like last semester. Adelphi continues to pay close attention to the fluctuation of the pandemic and the health of our campus. What does this mean for campus life for the coming spring semester?
“Each semester since the pandemic began has been unique due to rising and falling infection rates and the emergence of new variants,” said Gene Palma, vice president of Wellness, Safety and Administration. “As we prepare for the spring 2022 semester, we are dealing with the highly contagious and rapidly spreading omicron variant. The good news is that we have the benefit of vaccines now and research has shown that the omicron is far less likely to lead to serious illness and hospitalization than earlier variants, especially in people who are vaccinated.”
Students vaccination and mask requirements, room capacity limitations and testing protocols are still in place this semester as are all safety precautions and procedures from previous semesters. Students are still expected to show the daily health screening on the AU2GO app when accessing campus and Learning Centers. High-risk groups such as student athletes and residence hall students will be routinely tested while the remainder of the Adelphi population will be randomly tested with at-home Vault tests at a 10 percent rate. Adelphi has also partnered with the FDA to provide pop-up testing by appointment for those who may desire more frequent testing.
“It remains our priority to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of all Adelphi students, faculty and staff,” Palma said on behalf of administration leaders. “Our University Health and Wellness team continues to monitor and make adjustments as the Covid-19 pandemic evolves.”
Adelphi continues to follow guidance from the New York state Health Department, Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities.
Despite the familiarity of protocols, some students still have their concerns.
First-year student Siya Sharma, said, “I think my biggest concern I have for the spring semester is whether or not the classes will be online or in person. I’m more active and engaged with the class when it’s in person because I just find it easier to learn that way. For my first year in college, I kind of expected it to be in person, so I guess it would be kind of a bummer if it were to be online.”
To date, all classes will be in person starting on January 25, though the Provost’s office said there will be some flexibilty until February 7.
From a Residential Life perspective, senior resident assistant Michael Gabriel plans to adapt to any procedures that will be enforced this semester. He believes mask requirements and hyper-cleaning precautions will remain in place.
“I do expect that most RAs may push programs onto a fully virtual format as well. If rules from last semester stay the same, I plan to host programs of each modality, fully online, hyflex and asynchronously,” he said.
Gabriel spoke of the optimism of many students, not just at Adelphi. “My hope is that cases may lessen as we approach spring and hopefully return to some sense of normalcy, whatever that looks like now.”
University cases, tests and vaccinations can be found on the Covid-19 Dashboard. Global Covid-19 numbers are found on The New York Times’ Global Coronavirus Tracking, which is provided to all Adelphi students, faculty and staff for free digitally.