The VPSL Column | October 25, 2021
Happy Monday, Students!
Welcome to week 9. As we get closer and closer to the end of the semester, I am sure you are experiencing more demands on your time and energy. I hope that you are finding healthy ways to maintain balance and to keep focused on the task at hand–you’ve got this! I know you are all looking forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving break as much as I am.
This week, you and the rest of the LC community will receive an LC Bulletin from the College discussing where we are in terms of COVID cases. There have been a number of COVID notifications recently, and many of you have expressed concern, wondering what the uptick in cases really means.
The upcoming LC Bulletin has a detailed FAQ that will help to put the increased case count into context. Bottom line: Yes, we are seeing more cases than we saw this time last year, which is mainly due to the more contagious Delta variant. The cases we have been seeing have often been related–one person infects another person because of a common social activity or because they are roommates or partners. For example, this past week we had three cases in which the infected individuals lived in one of our residence halls. But the disease was not transmitted in the residence hall: rather, it happened after a shared extracurricular event. It was coincidental that the three individuals happened to live in the same building.
Although any infection is worrisome, so far cases have not been due to general community spread, being in class together, or residential living. And, thank goodness, no individual who has contracted the virus has experienced serious symptoms or required hospitalization. However, we should remain vigilant. COVID is still circulating in the community, so limiting any opportunities to contract the disease is still important–as missing class due to requirements to quarantine or self-isolate is difficult and stressful in and of itself.
Here is the latest regarding positive COVID cases:
COVID-19 cases: Of the 420 community members tested so far in October, there have been 7 positive on-campus and 12 positive off-campus cases. This includes undergrad, graduate, Law and outside vendors), which equates to a positivity rate of 1.76%. The higher positive rate as compared to September is reflective of the small number of tests we have conducted thus far in October.
Remember to continue filling out the SCARF form in the Health Information Portal if you experience any COVID-like symptoms. Thank you for keeping our community healthy and safe.
Robin H. Holmes-Sullivan
Vice President for Student Life
Lewis & Clark College