COVID-19 case on BU campus: Is this the first of many?

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Students and staff of Bloomsburg University received an email around 4 p.m., Aug. 14, notifying them that a BU employee had tested positive for coronavirus.

According to a press release, “The University learned of the positive test on Friday, Aug. 14, and immediately began contact tracing to determine those who may have had exposure. The University is also sanitizing all areas where the individual was on campus. Anyone who had close contact with the infected person will be notified and advised of the appropriate COVID-19 response protocol.”

The university is not planning on changing the start of in-person classes this Monday, Aug. 17.

Students had varied reactions to this news. In a 24 hour poll posted Aug. 14 on BUnow’s Instagram, 60% of the over 200 students that answered selected that this news had impacted how they view an in-person semester.

Students were also asked to voice their opinions and 13 responded. The majority had the same thought: this won’t be the last case.

“I’m nervous and anxious to be in person.”

“The school doesn’t care about our health, only our tuition checks; there plan is too flawed.”

“Contact tracing and increased sanitization aren’t enough.”

“I think it’s only a matter of time before we all get sent home. Opening = selfish.”

“We’ll be sent home in two weeks time.”

“So many people aren’t following the protocol, and it’s sad because some people really want to be here.”

Two responses had a different view on the matter.

“Give us in-person classes.”

“It was bound to happen whether we live at home or here, you have an equally good chance.”

Dr. Wendy Lee, a philosophy professor at BU, is adamant that Bloomsburg should be 100% online this semester. She voiced this opinion in an email to the BU community using quotes from students and staff who have come to her with examples of how BU’s guidelines are already failing.

“Our first positive case—and classes haven’t even begun,” she says.

“I as well as a number of others have been trying to sound this alarm for weeks. BU administration should be thrilled that we care this much about the BU campus community and the town we call home. But it is wholly unclear that they’re listening for more than an opportunity to silence us. We should be applauded—not called to task. No one should fear potential retaliation for speaking up about a crisis as serious as a pandemic, and yet many do.”

Dr. Lee also analyzed the “Back to Bloom” plan in an attempt to show the flaws in the university’s proposal for this semester. Find the whole analysis here.

Do you believe Bloomsburg University should continue with in-person classes as planned? Let us know in the comments or on our social media!

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