Despite national trend, GC COVID-19 numbers stay low

Despite national trend, GC COVID-19 numbers stay low

[For the most up-to-date COVID-19 statistics, visit Goshen College’s COVID-19 DashBoard by clicking here]

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, the third confirmed case of COVID-19 at Goshen College sent a student into isolation for the first time since the second week of the fall semester. Despite the recent case, the coronavirus’ presence on campus remains low as the fifth week of classes wrap up. 

According to a New York Times article updated on Sept. 10, GC joins more than 1,190 colleges and universities around the U.S. where COVID-19 has been reported. 

Still, more than 150 colleges have experienced 100 positive cases.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, colleges and universities have confirmed more than 88,000 cases with at least 60 deaths.

Kevin Miller, lead contact tracer on campus, began the contact tracing process on Sept. 11, once he received a report from the individual who was showing COVID-19 symptoms. 

Once the test came back positive on Tuesday, Miller and the rest of the Pandemic Task Force decided Wednesday morning that the two people in close contact with the infected individual needed to be in quarantine. 

The positive test at GC comes after 106 tests were administered to fall sport student-athletes starting two weeks ago. All of these tests have come back negative.

According to President Rebecca Stoltzfus, the student who most recently tested positive was a part of those initial tests. They tested negative on that day but later developed symptoms

At first glance, the wave of 106 negative tests out of the athletic department was cause for excitement as students in quarantine decreased to just two on the GC COVID-19 data dashboard. 

Despite the relatively low number of cases on campus, President Stoltzfus said the early success should not be a cause for softened guidelines.

“We are doing extraordinarily well so the anxiety goes down a little bit, but we also can’t relax,” President Stoltzfus said. “We’re doing well because we’re so vigilant…we have to keep relaxing into the plan.”

A major reason for early success, Miller said, is the diligent self-reporting that is happening around campus. 

Since the start of the school year, the contact tracing team at GC has received 70 reports of people who think they may have COVID-19 symptoms or they were in contact with somebody who has COVID-19.

Of those 70 reports, two resulted in positive cases.

Miller encourages students and faculty to continue self-screening and to submit a report if they’re having any concerns regarding COVID-19.

These reports have enabled the Pandemic Task Force to catch cases before they become positive, President Stoltzfus said. 

“Thirty-six students and employees have completed quarantine or are currently in quarantine,” she said. “Of those 36, none have turned into a positive case.”

This response to potential cases supplemented with preventative efforts like the “Big Four,” are reassuring to President Stoltzfus that COVID-19 combative efforts at GC are going well

Nick Yutzy, News Editor
Nick Yutzy, News Editor
Written by Nick Yutzy, News Editor

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