As of Oct. 4, the university community had six active COVID-19 cases, despite a 95 % vaccine rate and ongoing measures to stop the spread on campus.
“Students overall are doing a really good job of following COVID-19 protocol and wearing their masks,” said Joey Grafton, a Residents Assistance for the 3rd floor of Gilbert Hall.
As of Sept. 26, Washington County had 905 known COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Student-athletes are required to participate in batch tests and must follow the guidelines of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, on top of the university’s guidelines.
The protocols are determined by the university’s COVID-19 Task Force, which meets once a week to discuss current and future COVID-19 related issues. The task force is led by Ann Barr-Gillespie, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and includes the outgoing president of the university, Lesley Hallick.
“Our goal is to make it possible for students to have all the experiences we know are so important to their education and still keep them safe,” said Sarah Phillips, Dean of College of Arts and Sciences.
The current enforcement of the protocols focuses on teaching rather than punishment when students are found to be in violation of safety measures. The first step is a gentle reminder to a student followed by a simple sit-down to educate them on the importance of masks, according to Phillips. In extreme cases, the student can be removed from the classroom and found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct. However, according to Lindsey Blem, Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct, there hasn’t been too much of an issue.
“I think peer reminders can be really helpful too. Taking that community approach of we are all in this together,” said Blem. — Jazmine Henning