By: Maria Giovanna Jumper
While lockdown restrictions are easing up in New York, the people’s fears and concerns have not. Several universities have had to shut down because their students have been catching Covid-19 at events that don’t adhere to social distancing and then bring it back to campus. For example, the University of Washington has had 290 cases and of the 290 cases, 165 of them were linked to fraternity and sorority events.
On August 27, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that schools with over 100 confirmed positive Covid-19 cases have to shut down for two weeks. The school would resort to online learning in the meantime and after two weeks officials would reassess them to see if they should reopen.
As for Adelphi, just a few weeks into our reopening the entire campus was notified about a big social gathering that occurred off campus with over 20 people from Adelphi in attendance, which resulted in five people testing positive and 16 others in quarantine. While that was off campus it is still a cause for concern.
What was that scare like for residential students and how is Adelphi continuing to ensure their safety?
Hyacinth Taylor, a sophomore business major, said, “I felt safe on campus. Public safety workers drove past me once in a while and asked me to do the Covid safety screening for precautions. I also had to complete the Covid safety screening to ride the shuttle… The lounge, dorms and bathrooms were kept exceptionally clean. Dining was also organized to keep us safe as well. But I believe dining could have improved on the mobile order app because it only allowed students to use Panther dollars instead of meal swipes.”
Kathryn Lynn, a sophomore marketing major, said, “So far it’s been okay on campus. Everyone seems to be following all the regulations and keeping their distance and wearing masks. I feel safe since I make sure to take all precautions in order to remain safe.”
Lynn continued, “It seems that so far Adelphi has done a good job dealing with the cases that we’ve had and put in the necessary procedures to avoid an outbreak. We have to check our temperatures daily and do a Covid check on our phones in order to make sure we aren’t exhibiting symptoms. We also are getting tested every few weeks, so we had to get a test before coming on campus and we just took another one next week.”
She added that campus has been emptier than usual. “But I think it’s necessary in order to keep everyone safe. It’s definitely been an adjustment from last year, but it’s all been good so far and hopefully it will remain like that.”
Students aren’t the only ones who are experiencing some adjustments. Guy Seneque, director of Residential Life and Housing, said they’re also hearing from some parents.
“We get some calls from parents who are concerned that their students are not interacting with other students socially,” he said. “We try to engage students with virtual programs (over 50 programs so far). Some students are suffering from `Zoom fatigue.’ Res Life is considering ways to implement in-person programming is a safe, contactless way.”
Now that cool weather is likely to force everyone inside, Seneque said, “Normally during this time of the year, students will catch colds as the season changes and turns colder. We anticipate a similar scenario this time around. This fall, however, the housing term is scheduled to end right before Thanksgiving. We hope the shortened semester will reduce the risk of students catching colds from one another.”
As the weather gets colder and spikes in coronavirus are steadily increasing throughout New York, the Adelphi community will continue to update students on the safety of our campus and ways that they can stay safe in the meantime.