COVID-19 cases rise at Guilford

As COVID-19 cases spike around the nation, we are seeing a similar trend at Guilford. With tight restrictions being enforced on campus, many are curious as to why we have seen an increase in cases at Guilford 

While many larger schools like UNC Chapel Hill and NC State dealt with COVID-19 outbreaks as soon as they opened their doors, Guilford has been able to remain open with few cases and many safety measures in place. Weekly COVID-19 email updates are sent to members of the Guilford community. 

The most recent COVID-19 update, sent out Oct. 16, expressed the growing concern that members of the Guilford community were not complying with health and safety protocols.

 Health and Safety Task Force Chair Jermaine Thomas believes that “there is a bit of complacency due to our low positive test percentage.”

“We still have not exceeded a test percentage rate over 1%,” said Thomas, adding that while this is “great news, some of our community has become relaxed based on several factors.”

Thomas asked that “the college continue to follow… health and safety guidelines as we are still in the middle of a pandemic and this is not a sprint, it is a marathon.”

Random COVID testing continues, and some Guilfordians choose to get tested even if they are not selected.

 As COVID cases throughout our region and nation increase, it is imperative that we keep these numbers low. To do so, all students must continue to wear a face mask, wash their hands, keep their distance from others and monitor themselves for symptoms. 

Although students continue to wear face masks in public, there is growing concern that students are becoming increasingly comfortable around their closest friends.

Thomas said that an increasing number of contacts are being placed in quarantine to help mitigate the spread of the virus, and that this “shows that students are not wearing their face coverings around their friends.”

As we enter into the holiday and flu season, it is increasingly important that we follow the health and safety guidelines provided by Guilford.

“We are entering into a crucial period of the virus with most experts predicting a very active holiday season with surges of the virus,” Thomas said.

 This year has been an odd one as we have not been able to host events that would normally bring the school together. 

“As far as engagement goes, (the year) is a lot more boring,” said senior Khaira Bolden. Although this is the case, Bolden is “glad that Guilford is still open” and that “(she) is still able to be here.”

Overall, students seem to be pleased with Guilford’s handling of the coronavirus. Although his first year of college has not been “what he envisioned,” Tyler Aleese still finds his first year “a lot better than what (he) thought it was going to be.” 

Most Guilford students are happy to have the option of being on campus this year, but it is important to note that campus has only remained open because students have continued to follow health and safety guidelines. 

With this in mind, please remember that if you have symptoms for COVID-19, or if you know you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you must contact a trusted health professional and self-quarantine for 14 days. Continue to wear your masks and social distance to protect yourself and those around you.