The rapid rise in COVID-19 cases at Quinnipiac is unsurprising

Magali Aguilar, Staff Writer

With only a few left in the fall semester, students on campus likely assumed that they would be able to complete the rest of the school year in person. If students continued wearing masks, practiced social distancing and avoided going out for unnecessary reasons, it’s possible that we could have remained on campus. However, that is no longer the case. The sudden rise in cases is not surprising considering students have a hard time following social distancing guidelines and COVID-19 restrictions that are in place to keep everyone safe.

Connor Lawless

Quinnipiac University announced Nov. 4 that it was moving to red campus alert status after confirming that there were 115 new cases of COVID-19 among students in a span of two days. Although the university does not specify the number of the students on or off campus who have positive COVID-19 tests, it has gotten to the point where it doesn’t really matter where a student lives since they interact with so many others before they even know they have tested positive. 

The university’s move to a red campus alert isn’t surprising considering COVID-19 cases are increasing throughout the state. It was projected that there would be an exponential growth in COVID-19 cases when the colder months arrived, and college campuses are no exception. 

After months of strict mandates that kept nonessential businesses closed, people were relieved when some specific restrictions were lifted and we were allowed to go out again. However, some people seem to have forgotten the seriousness of the virus, and it is unfortunately making a comeback. 

Quinnipiac President Judy Olian recently addressed a large gathering at Anthony’s Ocean View that students from various colleges in the area attended. The email stated that social distancing guidelines were not followed and that masks were not worn at the event. Olian and Chief Student Experience Officer Tom Ellett revealed that some Quinnipiac students who attended the event had been sent home for the remainder of the semester due to their reckless behavior. However, the damage had already been done by that point.

It has become common knowledge that COVID-19 can be asymptomatic in some people. Although the university regularly conducts testing for students living on and off campus, it can’t control what students do. Students who live off campus have more freedom to do whatever they want and to go wherever they want. The university is not aware of where a student has visited so if a student contracts COVID-19, it might be hard to determine where the student got it and who they might have exposed. 

Although Quinnipiac had a great plan to keep the spread of COVID-19 as low as possible, no plan is foolproof. For many students, college is the one place where they are free from parental supervision, and they may feel inclined to break COVID-19 guidelines because no one is watching them. Although places like clubs, restaurants and bars still have certain restrictions, students are able to gather in one another’s dorm rooms or in an off-campus house without any supervision. This leaves opportunity for the virus to spread without anyone knowing. 

Due to the university declaring red alert status, classes will now be held virtually through Nov. 18. Students have been recommended to quarantine in their dorms or in their off-campus houses, and all students were scheduled for testing beginning Monday, Nov. 9. However, many students decided to go home early instead. The academic calendar has students leaving for Thanksgiving break on Tuesday, Nov. 24 which is only two weeks away, but many students have decided to leave campus and complete the semester from home due to the unfortunate rise in COVID-19 cases on campus.

Although the university did a good job trying to maintain the spread of COVID-19, it’s not possible to keep track of all students. After months away from campus, students were excited to get back and see their friends. For many first-year students, this was the first time they were away from home, independent and free to do whatever they want. Even though not all students participated in irresponsible behaviors, those who did have shortened the time spent on campus for all students.