With a drastic decrease in positive cases and a rise in vaccinations across the campus, Goshen College appears to be headed in the right direction as it pertains to COVID-19. But the Student-Led Pandemic Task Force is still hard at work.

The on-campus testing clinic has administered close to 5,200 tests this semester, with only six positive cases emerging. Meanwhile, around 350 campus members have reported that they’ve received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“We are very glad that there have been zero cases of Covid-19 spreading on campus these past few weeks,” Katja Norton, a senior and member of the Student-Led PTF, said. “We hope more than anything that we can continue to keep these numbers low.”

After a rocky fall semester, Norton and the PTF began brainstorming ideas to support students and faculty members in quarantine or isolation. Since then, they have held events to make cards and assemble care packages. 

For some time, the Student-Led PTF struggled coming up with the best thing to do or give to those who were isolated. They decided to pull together simple items that gave them comfort, hoping that they might bring comfort to others as well. 

Norton explained that each package contains a handmade student letter, a mug from The Depot, multiple hot chocolate and tea selections, and a variety of snacks and goodies. 

“Our hope for these care packages is to show our friends in the GC community that we care about how they’ve been affected by this pandemic in the past year,” Norton said. “We understand that being in quarantine and/or isolation is super tough while trying to balance our college schedules and personal lives.”

Once the care packages are assembled, the Student-Led PTF hands them off to Student Life where designated people on staff deliver them to students and faculty who have been affected. 

Everyone placed in quarantine or isolation since Jan. 11 has already received a care package, and they will continue to be passed out throughout the remainder of the school year. 

The Student-Led PTF strives to provide encouragement to their peers and the entire campus community, and the care packages are just the beginning. 

“We care about how everyone is holding up during this pandemic and we want to remind our peers to keep going and not let Covid-19 take away our passions and dreams,” Norton said.