COVID-19 Dashboard quietly disappears from University

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Amanda Kalaydijan/The Bucknellian

Bridgette Simpson, News Content Editor

The University discontinued routine testing, contact tracing and the COVID-19 Dashboard for all asymptomatic students in May. 

It was also announced that isolation housing would no longer be available, apart from those in “extraordinary circumstances,” and that COVID-19 positive students would need to isolate in their residences, on or off campus, or in their permanent residence.

Fall move-in took place the last weekend of August, and students were allowed to bring as many family members as they wanted to campus. Union County currently has low to medium transmission rates of COVID-19, meaning that masks are not required indoors or outdoors. Professors and staff can still choose to mandate masks in their classrooms or offices, as some have elected to do.

“I would say that I think the campus opinion of COVID has drastically changed,” Sara Micciulli ’23 said. “Whether people are just over it or believe things are 100 percent back to normal, I’m not sure, but it’s definitely been put on the back burner.” 

Micciulli is one of the many students who was infected with COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 academic year but has been infected with the disease six times, leaving her with semi-permanent damage to her senses of smell and taste.

“I don’t know if I would say I’m afraid to get it again, seeing as I’ve had it so many times. But given that I have been very sick each time, I do think it would be less than ideal to have it again, obviously,” Micciulli said.

Micciulli is not the only one who has noticed the uptick of cases on campus. 

When classes started, my parents were visiting town, so I was masking to protect them,” Professor Joe Scapellato said. “I figured that I’d stop masking when they left.” 

But what kept Professor Scapellato from doing so was what he noticed in the weeks following his parents’ departure. 

“Somehow I still haven’t caught COVID yet, at least not that I know of, so when I saw that cases on campus were climbing, I decided to keep masking,” he said. “It’s no great inconvenience.”

Some professors this year elected to remain mask-optional unless the transmission rate in Union County climbs higher than medium, while some have not mentioned it and others have required masks since day one of classes. Every professor has the choice to decide what they believe is best for this academic year. 

Before the COVID dashboard was removed, it was reported that the overwhelming majority of students and professors were vaccinated, making the University less likely this academic year to have an outbreak as it was in years prior.

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