Covid-19 campus update

Mackenzie Pflum, Reporter

COVID-19 has posed to be a challenge throughout the world all the way down to Ashland University’s campus.

Returning from Thanksgiving break last week, the university called upon students to participate in a campus wide testing on Monday Dec. 1 and Tuesday Dec. 2 to see the effects on students that were leaving and returning to campus. 

Those results weren’t necessarily surprising but more alarming. The campus health center reported it’s highest number of positive tests since students were tested coming back from Labor Day weekend in September. Last week, the number of positive tests between students and staff totaled up to 26. 

After contact tracing there are 37 students and staff members in quarantine. With the covid policy, if you have the vaccine and are traced back to having contact with someone who tested positive are not required to isolate and therefore are not included in the list. The health department just asks those to wear masks or get tested.  

This week, the number of new positive tests is three. The health center is seeing a significant number of positive tests come back from students who have been vaccinated according to COVID-19 Response Coordinator, Elise Riggle.

Not only has Ashland University seen numbers rise, but Ashland County has also seen cases to continually rise. The average number of positive cases every two week statewide is 601.1. Ashland County is experiencing about 716 positive cases every two weeks. 

The evening of Dec. 6, Dr Campo scheduled a town hall meeting for faculty and staff. In the meeting COVID-19 updates were on the agenda for a topic of discussion. 

It was decided that AU will temporarily lift the mask mandate 4:00 pm (close of business) on Dec. 16. The mask mandate will be back in place for the start of classes on Jan. 1, 2022. 

Once students are back on campus, they will be asked to once again participate in a campus wide testing. Once those results are received, the administration will make a determination on whether or not to continue masking or lift the indoor mask mandate.