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Unmasking Adelphi as Covid Restrictions Ease

By Katie Farkas

After almost 15 months of wearing masks, they are no longer going to be a part of our everyday lives. Last month, Gene Palma, vice president of University Wellness at Adelphi, sent out an email to the community updating the rules and regulations surrounding the COVID restrictions that have been in place since March 2020. He said: “Masks are not required indoors or outdoors for individuals who are two full weeks out from a World Health Organization (WHO)-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series. Unvaccinated individuals are required to continue wearing masks indoors at all times and outdoors where social distancing cannot be maintained, except while eating or drinking.”

Adelphi is lifting some of its policies about mandating masks, specifically for individuals who are two weeks out from their final COVID vaccine. However, some students are still nervous, and others wonder what the future may hold and what changes from 2020 we can bring into the future. Artwork "With Me Always" by sophomore art major, Aliyah Martin.

Although major restrictions have been lifted, some safety measures will remain in place. Palma states that “[Adelphi] will continue to support local and state department of health efforts to contact trace COVID-19 exposures and to support the health and safety of our community members. Adelphi will continue to require daily COVID-19 health screening until further notice. Many protection barriers in offices, study spaces and other areas on campus will remain in place and the Department of Facilities Management and housekeeping [will] continue robust cleaning and filter replacement schedules.”

Students have mixed feelings about this announcement with the approaching fall semester. Some are looking forward to things getting back to normal while others are still worried about the possibility of getting sick. The fact that over 2,000 students, faculty and staff have been vaccinated and there’s an option to continue to wear a mask on campus is easing the worries of some and making a return to a mostly normal semester exciting. Some students had a fully remote year and can’t wait to get back on campus.

Jade McClinton-Dorley, a junior communications major, said “I can’t wait to get back to campus. I miss human interactions!”

For the students who were able to be on campus over the past year, the mask, although necessary, did sometimes interfere with their experience. Divya Patel, a sophomore history major, said, “It was harder to communicate with others [while] trying to make friends.”

On the other hand, some positive things did come out of the changes that were made this past year. The addition of remote learning, while it did have some drawbacks, was well received by many and some students are even hoping they will continue to have it as an option in the future.

Brianna Betterson, a sophomore computer science major, said, “I think Adelphi could supplement in-person classes well with an online version to offer extra flexibility in our schedules.”

2020 will be a year to remember, but the end is in sight and the Adelphi community is embracing the return to normalcy with open arms.

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