Risk of Outbreak at Seton Hall "Unacceptably High" According to Virologist

An article in the Setonian, Seton Hall's student newspaper, features an interview with a virologist in the biology department who warns of a possible outbreak on campus (and thus in our community). The director of health services justifies the lack of regular testing--students only get tested if they have symptoms AND request a test--by claiming that COVID is like strep throat. This is incorrect, as the virologist points out--it spreads asymptomatically and is much more fatal.

Link: https://www.thesetonian.com/2020/09/04/health-services-clarifies-testing-protocols-while-virologist-calls-outbreak-risk-unacceptably-high/


Looks like the beginning of a s...show. A kid is in 10 minute +, contact with a case or has symptoms. Then is supposed to quarantine for 14 days. How does the kid make up the lost instruction? Does the school have provision for remote video for every class? Or does it the end with loss of the semester's tuition?

The school gets to keep the money. Parents? Oh well. And the student debt remains.

What percentage of the school's students are commuters? Remember that the initial response to the virus was lockdown and curfew. That is because less interaction between people means fewer cases and less people dying. Commuting kids will carry virus into the campus AND back out.

Then there is the factor of student behavior. How many college campuses have already opened and then shut down?

"But OUR students will act responsibly." Is the probable response from the administration


We drove around my old college on the way back from a short vacation this week.  It was an odd and somber sight to see a campus filled with masked students.   I hope it works out.


My completely anecdotal and unscientific survey (two professors I know) is that the faculty in general is not optimistic that Seton Hall won't have to shut down in-person activities.


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

What percentage of the school's students are commuters? Remember that the initial response to the virus was lockdown and curfew. That is because less interaction between people means fewer cases and less people dying. Commuting kids will carry virus into the campus AND back out.

 Not to mention the large number of SH students who shop at Stop & Shop and visit local restaurants.


From what I'm seeing anecdotally, I have little confidence that there won't be a significant outbreak at some point, that is if there isn't one already that they don't know about because they're not testing. SHU kids I'm seeing around SO are mostly not wearing masks and mostly not giving any distance when walking by on the sidewalk. I'm not saying that you can get Covid from walking past someone on the sidewalk, but I think the lack of awareness/consideration in their behavior is telling of their mindset on this thing. Also yesterday I walked by a mini porch party kind of thing with kids standing/sitting right next to each other -- looked totally normal for any other year but looked weird in 2020.   


I am concerned as well. I'm in the MSW program at SHU and I currently have a class that meets in person Thursday nights for two and a half hours. You do have the option to attend the class online but I just don't do well without in-person contact. My other two courses are all online and asynchronous (no regularly scheduled online meetings with MS Teams or something like it) and I really struggle with them. Oh well, the degree is the goal, and frankly? No one is going to give a damn what my GPA is. It currently is just fine, btw, but that's neither here nor there.

I work as a contact tracer part-time and yeah, I'm that much more concerned since I am immersed in it every day. I may revert to online attendance for the clinical field practice course but that would suck. At least last week (and going forward) I will only come to campus, park somewhere, head to class, and immediately go home when it is done. We all wear masks in the classroom. Only 3 people were there last Thursday and we sat really far apart. I noticed that the drinking fountains are all turned off in the A&S building, and maybe everywhere else, so that's inconvenient but smart.

I would definitely support an approach like Northeastern University took last week if it comes to that. That said, I'm in my 50's and have experienced all kinds of **** the typical student there hasn't so I can only judge from my perspective. I suppose in my younger years I'd be more apt to think I was following safety protocols and mess up anyway.




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