COVID-19 brings insecurity to students
Cedar Crest College has instituted many safety procedures to guard against the spread of COVID-19, including sanitation stations, implementing mask rules, maintaining the recommended six feet distance and more. But some students have wondered if the precautions are sufficient.
Over the summer, students and parents alike were under the impression that the school would provide students with COVID-19 tests to ensure the health status of the students, but once move in day rolled around, people were allowed back on campus with a simple “yes or no” daily questionnaire. This Healthy Roster app is a quick two-minute quiz that people coming on campus are required to complete upon arrival. But is this app truly monitoring one’s reporting?
The logistics and planning behind the app are in question by students since there is no way to force students, faculty, and staff to answer honestly. One student has shared her experience with how she lied about having certain symptoms to trigger a response from the COVID Care Team. She explains that someone contacted her late at night regarding her responses to the quiz, instead of during the day when she “planned” on coming to campus. This uncertainty of true monitoring has students worried about catching COVID-19 regardless of Cedar Crest’s physical safety features.
“The school should have us scan into the buildings on campus so at least our campus movements are monitored,” Emily Klenk, a senior, explains. “If someone were to develop symptoms while on campus, we would quickly be able to track where they were, thus making the job of contact tracing easier. If the school were to test us for COVID, the cost would most certainly come out of our pockets, one way or another. Cedar Crest has a chance to improve its reputation, given the negligent response to this virus. Making these tests free and available to everyone on campus will increase the faith that students, staff and faculty have. We could be better informed of a spread, since most cases arise from people who present little to no symptoms.”
Kyle Dailey, Dean of Students, shares some insight to many of students’ questions. Dailey says the college has a system set up where if you believe you are asymptomatic you are eligible for a test and safe housing on campus while you quarantine.
“The college has plans in place to mitigate and contain the spread of COVID-19 on campus outlined in the Health & Safety Plan,” Dailey said. “Our plan does not include shutting down the college. We will continue to focus on practices and strategies that mitigate and contain the spread of COVID-19 on campus.”