By Shoshanah Marcus, Editor in Chief and Danielle Lane, Managing Editor
In an email sent to the undergraduate student body, faculty, and staff on Tuesday October 12, 2021, the COVID Monitoring Team reported that through their semi-weekly COVID testing program they have identified 52 new cases of COVID-19, 49 on Wilf campus and 3 on Beren campus. This report comes after the implementation of mask mandates in all academic buildings and mandatory semi-weekly testing.
The email clarified the responsibility of students who came in contact with positive cases, stating that vaccinated students who come in contact with a student who has tested positive does “not need to quarantine, even if they have been in close contact with a positive case, but they should closely monitor themselves for symptoms.”
Additionally the email announced that ”[a]s a result of these positive cases, we have made the decision to expand the temporary mask mandate to include public spaces within housing (such as lounges, elevators, and hallways).”
Some students do not feel that these new mask mandates will have much of an effect. Racheli Jian (SCW ‘25) shared with the YU Observer regarding the expansion of the mask mandate that “not only is the problem with the [COVID] cases, but the testing isn’t organized and masking isn’t enforced. Also, expanding the mask mandate to the dorms won’t be effective because once a group of people are piled into an elevator, masks won’t do much.”
Another student (YC ‘23), who wished to remain anonymous, expressed the lack of enforcement thus far and told the YU Observer, “I have consistently seen students, Rabbeim, faculty, and administrators enter and traverse academic buildings without masks and without anyone stopping them for this breach of YU procedure. Now as students continue to become sick, YU has restated and intensified its mask mandate. Only time will tell though, if the enforcement will be any stricter and for the sake of the individuals who are paying thousands of dollars to remain on campus one can only hope so.”
The email announcement went on to say that COVID testing will continue this week on Thursday, October, 14th. The tests will be located “on the Wilf Campus from 12-5 p.m. in Furst 501 and on Beren campus from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in Room 501 in 215 Lexington” and are mandatory for all students. If one is unable to receive a test during those times, they may fill out this form prior to the testing date to request approval for an external test.
Many students have expressed having class during the allotted testing times. One student (SCW ‘23), who wishes to remain anonymous, expressed, “Personally, I have back-to-back classes during every single one of the testing hours, and I doubt I’m the only one with this problem. I can’t say I don’t understand the demand for more testing. Don’t get me wrong- it’s super annoying, but I get it. But if YU really wants to be on top of COVID cases and prevention, I feel like it shouldn’t be so hard to get a test. I really think the hours need to be expanded, and/or it needs to be a much easier option for students to get outside testing to prove that they’re COVID negative.”
If students have any questions regarding COVID protocols they can contact the YU COVID Student Line at CovidStudentLine@yu.edu.
The original email stated that the testing hours on the Beren campus were from 11am-3pm. The school has since clarified that the hours will be from 10am-3pm.