Recent Rise in Campus COVID Cases

Sophie Davenport and Dylan Smith

BU’s Health Center

Over the last couple weeks COVID cases on campus have been on the rise. It is to be expected to see a rise in cases because the semester has recently started, and students are back on campus. It is also flu season, many people will get sick just because it is that time of the year. The Voice set out to find what students thought about the recent rise in cases and if Bloomsburg University should be doing anything different to mitigate COVID. For most students COVID is a thing of the past. No one wants another mask mandate, nor do they think it is necessary.

Victoria Kerrigan and Victoria Howse, both seniors, think that COVID is under control even with the increase in cases. Howse says she is glad she doesn’t have to wear a mask anymore and both think that BU shouldn’t change its approach to COVID. Many students believe that COVID isn’t a big deal anymore. Caleb Hockenberry, who is a junior, comments “it sucks COVID is increasing again, but it’s bound to happen.” Lindsey Deitre, a sophomore, agrees saying, “Since school started up again, cases are naturally going to increase.” Hockenberry is in favor of BU’s current color-coded system which indicts the severity of cases in the local area. Hockenberry believes that “what we’re doing works.”

Students know how miserable the college experience can be when COVID is running rampant so naturally many are more conscience and self-aware of the virus. Lauren Matthews a senior, says, “If someone is sick, they should stay home. Take precautions and wear a mask if you need to. Some people don’t care and that’s selfish.” However, Mathews believes that if cases do increase enough to trigger another protentional school shutdown, masks should be mandated especially indoors. Dominic Brown a senior, mentions that “People are doing a good job at social distancing compared to when COVID first started.” Brown does think that zoom alternatives should be offered in every class so students “are not forced” to come to class when they are sick. Brown also believes that “the school is doing what it should and everything it can,” in regard to COVID.

Every week BU sends out a mass student email, titled Weekly Campus Health Update. The email updates students on the current COVID status on campus. The email informs students when to get tested, how to contact the university if positive, and what to do if positive. The email also includes locations around campus where free COVID Rapid Tests are available. I think that this shows a continued effort by BU to inform students about COVID and remind students to think safely in terms of their health. However, some do not agree. Jamilia Hall, a senior, claims that “People don’t take [COVID] seriously at all. It still exists, and people are ignoring it. COVID is still killing people.” Hall thinks that BU should do more, “They act like it doesn’t exist anymore. No mask, no social distancing, it’s like COVID never happened. Catherine Sullivan who is a junior studying criminal justice, believes the school should be doing more. “The school should still be making students test even if the county numbers are down. It’s obvious students aren’t reporting their health status to the university.”

The increase in COVID cases is closely monitored by BU and students, themselves, know what a high enough increase in cases can mean. Shutdown. Per BU’s Weekly Campus Health Update, COVID cases are actually dropping. Last week one of my professors got COVID and cancelled class. It was a smart decision to prevent further spread. Missing one class is worth spending the rest of the semester on zoom. I think students are more self-aware than they were last semester and know the consequences if we don’t do our part to test and stay home when sick.