Students concerned about delta variant, possible closure discussed


Nick Bouter, 18, a freshman music department at Fresno State University, faced the horror of COVID-19 before the start of the semester.

His friend eventually tested positive for COVID-19 and was tested as a precautionary measure to keep older families safe. It’s scary, Vawter said, and it keeps people alert.

Still, he is excited about the first semester of college, the potential for college experience. This is in stark contrast to the last virtual year of high school. He enjoys interacting with fellow students and doing various activities such as playing the guitar.

Vawter is concerned that the proliferation of COVID-19 cases associated with the delta variant, a highly contagious strain of the disease, could move universities to an online format.

Many students like Vawter are concerned and reserved about being on campus because of the Delta variant. University officials are also paying attention and are planning to switch to virtual education after Thanksgiving.

For students, it’s about weighing risks. How comfortable is it to endanger your safety for education? They are concerned about pandemics, but they don’t want to go back to an inadequate online experience.

“I think it’s a real tragedy. We had to do what we had to do, but we still feel the impact … it teaches us a lot, everyone’s I think it has definitely changed the course of thinking, “Vawter said.

Immunization rates are an important part of students who feel safe on campus. Approximately 75.1% of students are vaccinated with both COVID-19 vaccines, and 9.72% of students are in the process, according to a spokeswoman for Fresno State University, Lisa Boyles Bell.

Jasmine Reimer, a senior liberal arts major, told anthropology professor Walter Dodd to students after class that his undergraduate faculty were considering moving to online learning.

Rymer, like Vawter, is once again worried about moving to an online learning environment as it can impact his educational career.

“When COVID-19 began, the transition to online learning was difficult. Then the entire stay-at-home order came, causing a terrible depression episode and passing only two of the four classes this spring. We didn’t, “says Rymer. “My heart sank when my professor said he might return to online learning.”

Even with strict COVID-19 regulations on campus, an increase in incidents can jeopardize the university’s plans for most face-to-face semesters.

The Executive Office of the President has reported a total of 248 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among members of the campus community since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since August 9, there have been a total of 84 confirmed cases of COVID-19. According to the Fresno State University Fresno COVID-19 website, there are currently 43 additional cases currently under investigation by Cheong Wa Dae.

Honora Chapman, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, said he is currently discussing an emergency response plan to move from face-to-face lessons to a virtual environment if conditions on the university campus deteriorate after a Thanksgiving break.

“Tuesday, August 24, 9 am, Provost [Xuanning Fu] Called the Dean’s Meeting, we talked for a very long hour about everything we had to do about campus repopulation … we talked about “Plan B,” said Chapman.

Chapman was born out of an initiative to prevent potential outbreaks that could occur by simply waiting for the university’s emergency response plan to be inevitable due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. I explained as.

“For August 24th, Provost is telling us” Plan B “. What if I have multiple groundbreaking COVID infections on a large scale?If it is [is] Just wipe it out like a wildfire and get some advice [told] Do you want to shut down? “Chapman said.

According to Xuanning Fu, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Dean met many times to discuss emergency response plans.

“The Dean met many times on this topic, not just on August 24,” Fu said. “At the beginning of the fall semester, we carefully monitor the progress of the pandemic and prepare for different scenarios … no decisions have been made yet. Our decision-making process is based on the situation on the university campus. It is done.”

Chapman said the current plan to move to online education after Thanksgiving breaks is a natural transition to prevent the potential for campus mix as a result of people mixing during the break.

At this time, an emergency response plan is under discussion.

At the Virtual Presidential Forum on September 9, President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval confirmed the existence of ongoing debate as a way to prevent possible outbreaks on campus.

“On the other hand, students [would] Thank you for going virtual after the Thanksgiving break. We can finish the semester a few days after Thanksgiving, “said Jiménez-Sandoval. “And on the other hand … it’s good that after Thanksgiving, after a weekend with family and friends, after a weekend with others, not everyone comes back. So the spread is a bit too. To alleviate it. “

He said the current emergency response plan could change as the situation progresses given the current state of the pandemic.

“This has not been finalized so far. We are exploring that possibility. And we are always looking for feedback from counties, hospitals and health authorities. From everyone. COVID is above all. Also told us that we can’t plan for the next two months … we have to go through the process with a strong presence here at that moment. ” Jiménez-Sandoval says.

In previous discussions with the state and health authorities, Jiménez-Sandoval said September would be a bumpy vehicle. However, the university promises to stay face-to-face throughout the month.

“We are now 100% focused on staying face-to-face until September, because it is said that things will change after September and October. [will] It stabilizes again, “said Jiménez-Sandoval.

While optimistic that the first semester on campus can be continued directly, Vawter reserves whether the current situation is viable for the long term given the mutation in COVID-19.

“I mean seeing this scene. It sounds a bit normal. But when things actually increase and get worse, they have to do what they have to do. Hmm. I really hope it [doesn’t happen] I love being on campus, in the atmosphere, everything, “says Vawter.

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