On Thursday, Oct. 8, Pacific University launched a COVID-19 tracing dashboard, which allows students to view the total number of tests conducted since March, along with active cases that are being monitored both on and off campus.
At the time of publication, the COVID dashboard reports three undergraduate students, one graduate student and one employee currently in active isolation.
There are multiple teams of both students and staff that compose the different response teams for the virus. Abby Ryan is a junior currently working on the student response team. “We all have different roles,” said Ryan. “The thing that connects it all is this focus on keeping our community healthy and happy through this pandemic.”
“Within the university, there are different protocols for the undergraduate and graduate students,” said Stephanie Stokamer, director for the Center of Civic Engagement who works on the undergraduate COVID response team.
For an undergraduate student, symptoms will be reported by themselves, or by a concerned professor or another individual. Following this, the student will be assigned to someone in the response team, who will guide them through the process of self-monitoring for symptoms, and even obtaining a COVID-19 test if necessary.
On the other end of the spectrum, the “MST COVID-19 tracing team receives a report from the Illness Registry or an email from the College Dean of CHP with the name and phone number of the student,” says Katelyn Eisenhooth, assistant director of International Programs. Once a graduate student has been assigned to someone on the response team as a case, a phone call is made to ascertain the specific situation, and what protocols will need to be used going forward. Then, the student is monitored until they are deemed safe to be released back into the community again, which is usually after they have been symptom free for 72 hours.
“We’ve been fairly lucky so far in that we have had students who have experienced symptoms or tested positive that live off campus or are taking mostly remote courses,” said Stokamer.
A pattern that has emerged as a result of the increased number of self-isolations and quarantines that students must engage in is a higher number of poorly attended in-person classes. “There are a number of students who have decided to go completely remote, even if they are living on campus,” said Stokamer. Students are both officially and unofficially stepping back from campus life. — Ella Cutter
(Editor’s Note: Pacific University’s COVID tracing dashboard can also be accessed at any time on our website through the menu link “COVID-19 Tracking”)
Photo: Students Madelon Jones and Lorreine Corotan are a part of the student COVID-19 response team, pictured putting together a prize basket for a scavenger hunt. (Madelon Jones)
Ella Cutter is a senior staff writer for the Index. She is currently pursuing degrees in journalism and editing and publishing, and also works for the downtown Portland indie press zines + things.