Despite the new safety measures being taken, COVID-19 is making an appearance at IUP.
As of Tuesday, Sept. 8, 23 students have tested positive for the virus. These students have been quarantined, and those they may have been in contact have been made aware.
Despite being told, there is plenty of criticism coming from students and faculty about the way it is all being handled by administration.
Students have said that IUP is not doing enough when it comes to the cases or reporting on them.
Kyle Chastulik (music) has been very outspoken about his views on IUP’s handling of the situation.
“In all seriousness, IUP majorly messed up by not mandating or supplying tests before the school year started,” he said. “The case count is only low because it only gets updated weekly. Also, nobody knows if they have it or not because there’s no resource for students to get tested on campus.”
The weekly updates that Chastulik mentioned are put on IUP’s website every Monday. It is under criticism by both students and faculty.
One professor who asked not to be named said that there should be more frequent updates.
“Once a week is not enough for keeping us in the know,” the professor said. “Like news outlets, we should hear every day just in case a lot of cases start popping up at once.”
Another issue for students is that employees allegedly only need to self-report.
“Also, employees don’t have to be listed on the dashboard,” Rose Mazey said. “It’s based on self-reporting. “I know of at least one employee that was positive, but it isn’t on the dashboard.”
Claire Shemon (biology) said she found an issue with the lack of mandated testing due to the struggle some have just to get the test otherwise.
“It’s all so messed up the number of actual cases on campus and in the U.S. in general is much higher than the resorted amount because of the restrictions involved with getting a test,” she said.
Though it is not mandated, IUP’s health center does offer testing for COVID-19. Some of the cost may be covered by insurance.
However, despite cases rising, not all students are as worried.
Jared Schafkopf (info systems and decision sciences) said COVID-19 is similar to the flu and that others are worrying too much about the virus.
“People get it and get better,” he said. “IUP is way too strict and we need to return to semi-normal with some safety precautions.”
“There’s not really a way to handle it,” said Dorothy Braid (human development). “It is spreading like crazy, but it’s bound to happen.”
One of the new precautions being taken at IUP is asking students to report any behavior they see going against the safety guidelines that have been set up. Students found going against guideline standards may face the Student Conduct Board.
There is no certainty in whether or not cases will continue to increase, but the outlook on the future remains mixed.