Last time we left off with the questions, “How will this progress as the conditions of the pandemic change?”, “ With more in person classes and general contact on the rise will we deal with this differently?”, and “…will vaccines matter?” With the dynamics of fall semester completely different than the last its been interesting to see how the rules have remained the same even in a dynamically different situation. While the Coverified app is ubiquitous on campus does it actually serve the purpose it’s designed for?
Vaccines are occupy this weird space in importance. Students are required to upload vaccine documentation but past that only need to do a passive daily symptom check. Students exempt from the vaccine must get tested weekly and also complete the daily check in’s. Symptom checks also exist in this grey area of importance as many tend to ignore notifications and just do it when prompted, if at all. According to the SSU COVID Dashboard 97% of residential students , 92% of all students, and 97% of all employees are vaccinated.
While mandatory vaccination has everyone comfortable some tracking parameters are still in place. For example the Dashboard is still in effect but how effective is it if people aren’t getting tested?. Testing is not mandatory for students even though the centers are open at fairly decent times. A snapshot of the data from November 18 update attempts to paint a picture of the situation on campus. There were 436 total tests within those 7 days, 278 students and 158 employees, of those tests 6 were positive. Of those positive tests 4 were students and 2 employees. A point to note though is until working on this assignment I didn’t even know about the existence of the dashboard.
Oddly enough I felt safer at classes held during the peak of the pandemic last year. This year they just translated same old rules, for much smaller class sizes, to the classroom setting of today. While students are great about wearing masks, distancing is a joke, and Coverified doesn’t really serve the role it’s designed for without consistent checking from involved parties. However people don’t seem to mind, as in-person classes are still in session and planned for the upcoming spring semester with no real changes.