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Students and Covid Uptick

By Whitney Moran, Staff Writer

On Sept. 26, New York state had 1000 reported COVID-19 cases for the first time since June. For the past 14 days, case numbers in NY have increased at a +30 rate, leaving reason for New Yorkers to discuss what needs to be done to keep cases under control and battle COVID-19. 

“I think that as schools began to reopen it was inevitable that there would be a spike in cases. As people returned to school, work, etc, there has been an increase in contact with others and therefore an increase in COVID cases,” Caitlyn Gallagher, a junior health science major, said. “I am glad, however, to see that the spike has been minor and able to be maintained.”

Some students, such as freshman health science major Catherine Robles, fear that increased regulations may be required if the number of cases keeps increasing.

“If we go back too soon we cause a bigger spread and worse case have to go back to phase one where we will be in quarantine once again,” Robles said. “It’s safer than how we’re back in February but we still need to take the extra precaution to stay as safe as we can to keep ourselves healthy and others who are at more of a risk. With more testing for a cure and doing all the safety measures we won’t be having another breakout episode as some other countries like Italy.”

Other students feel differently. “It’s kind of frustrating in a way. I can only speak for myself but I’m doing everything I can to protect the spread of COVID-19 for myself and for others,” Amanda Masullo, a senior nursing major, said. “We all want things to go back to normal, but who knows if we will ever get that sense of normalcy back if we aren’t trying our hardest to follow rules that will benefit us all. I know that COVID-19, especially at its peak, really did a lot of damage to people’s mental health, especially healthcare providers so to see the numbers start increasing again and seeing how COVID has unfolded once before, it is definitely scary and unpredictable.”    

While Gallagher believes that the university has been doing a good job in regards to COVID-19 protocols, she stresses that all students need to continue following regulations for the safety of the campus community. 

“The university has been able to isolate and effectively manage the few positive cases that we have had on campus. That being said, I believe it is necessary to continue taking all precautions and maintain all health and safety guidelines. These numbers must be closely monitored to prevent a second outbreak,” Gallagher said. 

“I think the university is actually taking good precautions to protect against COVID. I’ve never felt unsafe while at the school, there’s hand sanitizer everywhere. I’ve never seen anyone without a mask on and every desk I’ve ever sat at was more than socially distant from the one next to me,” Masullo said. “If we keep taking these precautions I’m confident that we could be here till Christmas break, however if New York’s numbers keep increasing, I don’t think I could say the same thing. Especially because our school is a big commuter school and we don’t know how safe and cautious people are when they aren’t at school, so that’s also something to think about.” 

Masullo has seen things from a hands on, clinical perspective. “I can say that although our numbers have decreased at least from the beginning of this all doesn’t mean that we should stop being safe when it comes to taking precautions,” she said. I’ve seen how hard these nurses and staff work to keep their patients safe now I can only imagine their experiences working in the healthcare field when covid was at its peak.”

Gallagher believes that the university should continue to provide information about COVID-19 cases on campus as they have been. “I believe that the university should continue to provide updates on our specific situation in regards to the covid outbreak. Faculty must continue to openly communicate with students about health & safety protocols, preventative measures and positive cases in our community.”

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