COVID-19 Dashboard updated for the first time

Sister Mary makes direct plea for students to follow safety guidelines


Photo credit/ Jeremy Stanton

Ellen Frantz, News Editor

Pandemic Coordinator and Director of Equity and Inclusion Dr. Yerodin Lucas notified the Marywood community via email Sunday morning that a student, who resides in off-campus housing, tested positive for COVID-19.

The positive case was the first to be reported since students returned to campus on August 24 for the beginning of fall semester classes.

According to Lucas’ email, the student is now isolated and members of the community who were in close contact with the individual have been identified through contact tracing and told to quarantine.

Since the Sunday morning email, the Dashboard has been updated to show that a faculty member, who works from home, also has tested positive for the virus.

As quarantine numbers rise, Lucas says he is concerned about test result speed

The Dashboard also shows that there are now 20 students and three faculty members, including the ones who contracted the virus, in quarantine.

According to Lucas, no other students have tested positive at the time of this story’s publication. Lucas said he plans to update the Dashboard more frequently than the initial schedule of once per week.

“The current tests we have here at Marywood take at least two to seven days for the results to come back,” said Lucas. “So, in that in-between time there wouldn’t be anything really to report. So, we wanted to make sure that we had the most accurate, up-to-date information as we updated it.”

According to Lucas, university administrators have been trying to acquire COVID-19 tests with faster turnaround times.

“We’re trying to get tests that are more rapid-result, but we’re at the mercy of our vendors so the tests that we currently have can take anywhere from two to seven days,” explained Lucas.

Sister Mary makes direct plea for students to follow guidelines

In a Monday morning email to the student body, Persico stressed that its on the students to make sure Marywood does not become a university that has to close due to large outbreaks of COVID-19 on their campus.

“I want to be clear that this is not the time for anyone of you to tempt fate or to try to bend the rules,” Persico wrote in bold in the email. She added that although parties and off-campus visitors are a part of the college experience, they cannot happen until it is safe to do so again.

The rules were put in place to protect the student body so, she said, they should be followed.

“I want to be clear that an open campus for the fall semester is not a guarantee unless you do what is right,” she said as she concluded her message.

Despite positive case, students say they feel safe on campus

Even though the virus has found its way to Marywood, some students still believe the school is doing a good job protecting them from the virus.

Sophomore Music Therapy major Mary West is one of those students.

“I think they’re taking the right precautions,” said West. “It is a little worrisome reading the email, but it seems like they are taking the right precautions.”

Sophomore Biotechnology major Erin Flanagan said she doesn’t feel that she is at a higher risk of contracting the virus now that someone from the community has tested positive.

“I’m not surprised because it’s so prevalent now,” said Flanagan. “It’s definitely still needed to continue the social distancing and wearing masks. Everyone should be vigilant because it’s now been noted on-campus,” said Flanagan.

Sophomore Art Therapy major Laura Mirabella said it is concerning that someone tested positive but said she believes the Marywood community is doing all it can in this situation.

“It’s definitely a little nerve-wracking, but it was going to happen,” said Mirabella. “People have been very good about always wearing the mask and keeping as much social distance as they can.”

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