Recent campus-wide spike in cases leave HU students uncertain for what’s to come next.

By Katie Sell, Staff Writer

Just before the break, Huntington University experienced a slight hiccup in COVID cases on campus.  Many students were placed in Hardy to quarantine, and many others went home in order to distance themselves. This provoked a slight scare amongst the community, leaving many unsettled and wondering what will come next.  

In order to bring some clarity and reassurance to the matter, I spoke with Chief Operating Officer, Russ Degitz.  Russ shared with me that HU is quickly responding to these cases and is continuing to follow protocols that align with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

“We make sure that we efficiently and quickly address all COVID related information,” says Degitz. Student safety is of huge importance in these times, so it is with encouragement that Degitz says to reach out to someone you trust on campus if you have questions.  

“I would welcome any questions or conversations like this because I am at the forefront of COVID every day.  As for what people can do to play their part [in keeping campus safe], it boils down to three simple factors: wear a mask, wash hands and practice good hygiene, and make sure you are distancing yourself from others.”  

Although this advice comes with no surprise, it seems as though we have strayed from these practices lately.  It is vital to remember that although we are drained from this new way of life, we can’t abandon the effective basics.   

Additionally, it is important to be extra mindful of the environment that we are in right now.  When returning home for Thanksgiving and the holidays, it is crucial to avoid any unnecessary risks.  Large gatherings have become more frequent over the past few weeks, but this does not allude that the pandemic is over.  Be smart in where you go and what you do.  

As for next semester, there is not a clear answer at the moment. 

“This is something that evolves rapidly, week-to-week or even day-to-day, so we have to be mindful about putting anything out too far in advance,” the Chief disclosed.  However, Degitz ended our discussion on a good note, stating that HU is “at an incredibly low rate.  We are under half what even the lowest communities in the state of Indiana have as their positivity rate.” 

It’s important to be reminded that even with this recent uptake, Huntington has seen great success this semester with keeping campus COVID-free and that our school has truly been blessed.  Being mindful that a quarantined student doesn’t translate to a positive test result, we are still in good standings.  Focusing on the good and how far we’ve come as a community should be motivation to keep this momentum going, which is why these next weeks at home are critical.  Foresters are encouraged to practice good protocol and to do their part to thrive again in the spring.