by Zach Avery, News and Managing Editor
Photo courtesy Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
On November 15, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced an emergency “Gatherings and Face Mask” order that prohibits any small gatherings of more than two separate households until December 6. This mandate rides on the coattails of a recent report also by the MDHHS reporting that Michigan is now sixth highest in COVID-19 cases in the United States, as well as fifth in the rate of deaths. The fact of the matter is that Coronavirus is surging throughout the United States nationally, locally and even in the cozy college environment of Aquinas.
A daunting rise in cases has been noticeable since the end of October, and Aquinas College has not been spared from that trend. According to Aquinas’ easily-accessible COVID-19 Dashboard, on Oct 31 there were 35 cumulative cases of coronavirus since the initial emergence of cases in August. In the four short weeks since then, the number of cases amongst Aquinas faculty, students and staff has more than doubled in its cumulative count, now recorded at 76 individuals.
The president of Aquinas College, Kevn Quinn, Ph.D., has routinely corresponded with the Aquinas student body throughout this fall semester whenever a new update on proper guidelines was needed in order to keep everyone educated on the most up-to-date precautions.
In an email to the Aquinas faculty, students and staff on Nov 11, President Quinn said, “Although we know that you are looking forward to returning home, we also know that you do not want to put your families and friends at risk.”
Much of Aquinas’ policies and health guidelines have been taken from procedures advocated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), including their holiday guidelines on how to stay safe this season.
For the most part, the health guidelines have remained the same: Wear a face covering, maintain good hygiene, socially distance, avoid gatherings, etc. Until the COVID-19 pandemic has been dealt with unilaterally, these precautions will still be maintained as the right steps by health experts and policy makers. If you have questions on Aquinas’ COVID response, or what precautions might be present in the upcoming spring semester, President Quinn encourages you to contact the Aquinas administration at email@example.com.