Drake University students experience a surge in COVID cases after Relays Week.
Drake Students are falling relay relay sick, after a weeklong of Relay activities that took place on Drake’s university campus.
As of Tuesday morning, students, faculty/staff received an email about the recent COVID surges on campus. The confirmed number of students was 55 positives cases, with 20 residential on-campus students isolating. Within a couple of hours, another email was sent out by President Marty communicating more cases, and encouraging everybody to adhere to CDCs guidelines.
President Marty also communicated that Executive Faculty Senate voted and agreed on moving finals online.
As of Wednesday morning, the university had reported 255 confirmed cases, with 500 still pending for results. Professors have also been given the discretion to decide whether they will continue the remainder of the semester in-person or remotely.
Interesting enough, the university claims that it’s contact tracing is not coming from Relays but rather prior to relays. Leaving many in doubt. Sure, there is a possibility that the spread started before Relays, but are we really going to deny the fact that one of the biggest athletic meets in the country is a great chance too? Keeping in mind that thousands and thousands of people are visiting all over?
In my opinion, it was careless and selfish on the University’s part. One, COVID never left, yet we were behaving like it did after the mask mandate dropped. COVID was also there, and the fact that there is an outbreak of a new strain does not make this situation easier. Two, the university knew that Relays would take place shortly before finals. The fact that they did not properly outweigh the risks is disappointing ti say the least. Because now you have hundreds of students falling sick during the last week of classes, when they could have use this time wisely to prepare for finals next week.
Students are now being forced out of campus and asked to move into hotels to help limit the spread on campus. All extra curricular activities and events have either been cancelled or postponed until further notice.
Spring commencement is still in session, and is being closely monitored by administrative staff.
For many, this has become the norm. Especially graduating seniors who have spent most of their academic careers in a pandemic. Let us all be reminded that the university has gone remote, hosted hybrid sessions and also had a mask mandate.
Considering everyone’s excitement when the mask mandate dropped in March – I guess that lasted long enough!