By Erin Reilly ’20, Editor-in-Chief
UPDATE: As of Saturday, Fisher now reports 29 confirmed cases of coronavirus on campus.
On Friday, October 16th, St. John Fisher College raised its operational level as a result of a recent rise in on-campus COVID-19 cases.
A message detailing this shift in procedure came in the form of an email to the entire campus community from Fisher’s COVID-19 Monitoring Team, who has been providing weekly updates to the campus community regarding COVID-19 updates and protocols. The Team typically sends emails out on Tuesdays, so a message on an off day meant more than just a general campus update.
The email stated that, within the last week, Fisher’s first residential students came back positive, and are now isolating off campus. The campus is now taking part in contract tracing, and anyone who is contacted as a result is required to quarantine. In addition, as a result of the wastewater surveillance detecting traces of COVID-19, the process of saliva surveillance has begun in Dorsey Hall, and will continue with Michaelhouse and Founders Hall within the next few days.
Though the email didn’t specify the number of new positive cases on campus in the past week, the college’s COVID-19 Impact Page indicated that there have been 29 new cases since Saturday, October 10th, a record-high for Fisher.
As a result, the campus has moved from the first to the second operational phase regarding COVID-19 procedures. This means that all residence hall lounges and gathering areas will be closed, social gatherings will be limited to 10 (as opposed to the former 25), and residential students are strongly discouraged from leaving campus, unless for obligations involving school, work or family. More information regarding operational phases can be found here.