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  • Kayla Ebanks

Return to Campus COVID-19 Policies

As we now live in a pandemic, safety is one of our biggest concerns. To protect ourselves and others, we must wear our masks and wash our hands regularly.

We had high hopes that the pandemic was getting better, but the CDC announced the news of the delta variant. The delta variant was said to be more harmful and cause more infections. With this news, people are on high alert, which I think is a good thing. The delta variant is not only more dangerous but more transmittable.

This fall, President Trainor has initiated a new policy for students, seminarians, faculty and employees at the Mount. These policies were set to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to maintain a COVID-free environment.

For some students, such as myself, this is our first time attending school in person since the pandemic began. I can tell you that it has been an adjustment. At first, there was no hope of attending school because of COVID-19. However, things started to get better once everyone was vaccinated until vaccination was not enough anymore.

The new policy Trainor issued called for a mandatory wearing of face masks indoors, regardless of one’s vaccination status. There are only exceptions to this policy when you are in your residential hall while eating and drinking or participating in vigorous exercises. I agree with these policies because staying safe is one of the main priorities now that we are in school. Always follow these policies, so the Mount continues to remain a COVID-free community.

Other policies include regular surveillance testing of students, seminarians, and employees who are not fully vaccinated. Those who do not have proof of vaccination or have not received an approved exemption will not be permitted to reside on campus or attend any in-person classes. Vaccinating is highly recommended to keep others and yourself safe. There must be a legitimate reason why you intend to get exempt from the COVID-19 vaccination other than that you do not like that you are required to be vaccinated.

Regarding student-athletes and athletic staff, they must follow the NCAA and NEC protocols to be eligible to participate in their NCAA sports. The safety policies are adequate, and I admire that the Mount is enforcing and sticking by the guidelines to keep all of us safe. Since the capacity of first-year students’ is extremely high, these restrictions help to reduce COVID-19.

The Mount is currently operating on a low, level one health alert environment based on a four-level scale. There was a new update that there are presently 4 COVID-19 cases on campus, including two students, one seminarian and one employee. These individuals are now quarantining on campus. I am sending my prayers and hoping they get better soon.

We are trying to move to a level zero, with no health alert. We will only achieve this by wearing our masks and avoiding places that will result in the infection and spread of COVID-19. We must protect ourselves and by protecting ourselves, we protect others.


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