Spike in COVID cases…again

Siobhan Nerz, Contributing Writer

As the Spring 2021 semester comes to an end, in addition to final exams and projects, students face the additional stress of rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. The spike of positive cases appeared on the University COVID-19 dashboard over the past week and has many worried about the health of the community.  

Chief of Public Safety Steve Barilar is busy transporting an increasing number of students to the hotel for isolation. When describing the students who are going into isolation, Barilar commented, “It’s a lot of everything… We transport positives, close contacts, students who are symptomatic and close contacts of students who are symptomatic.” Additionally, Barilar sees many students being “cautious for the whole campus.” 

Despite the increasing number of students testing positive, Barilar maintains an optimistic outlook. “I will always be hopeful that things will work out… As long as we can keep being vigilant I hope that we can still stay in person,” Barilar said.

In addition to putting stress on Public Safety, the rising cases are affecting students who are worried about staying on campus. In response to the current situation, “We only have about a month left and I’d love to be able to remain in person and stay on campus with my friends. It’s awful and incredibly selfish that people, students included, are walking without masks and partying with no regard for the health of others. Fingers crossed that numbers will go down as people get vaccinated,”  Jordana Groveman ’24 said.

Other students maintain faith in their peer’s ability to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. “We’ve done so well with keeping cases down this semester and definitely need to have that same persistence as we enter the last stretch. If we all do our part, hopefully we won’t have to finish virtually,”  Joselyn Busato ’24 said.

Similarly, Puja Velani ’24 maintains faith that the campus will remain a safe space for students to complete their Spring 2021 semester. “If we continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines to keep the community safe, I’m hopeful we will get through these last few weeks of the semester,” Velani said. 

While many faculty, students and staff are hopeful about the rising number of vaccinations, the consensus is that the increase in vaccinations should not prompt people to let their guards down. “Even though we are seeing high vaccination rates, we must remain vigilant in protecting ourselves and the lives of others for these final weeks,” Greg Duggan ’24 said.

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