September 15, 2023: COVID-19 Update
In response to recent questions about COVID-19 activity on campus, we wanted to share some information about what we are seeing so far this fall. You will recall that the college is tracking reported student cases for isolation purposes, but are not requiring employees to report COVID-19 cases.
Campus COVID-19 Cases
So far this week we have had 25 students report positive COVID-19 tests as of 9 a.m. Friday. This compares to 32 reported cases last week and 22 reported cases the first week of classes. Currently 16 rooms of isolation housing are in use. All of the students who are now in isolation have been vaccinated and are experiencing very mild symptoms.
While we discontinued weekly reporting through the COVID Dashboard when the federal Public Health Emergency expired at the end of the spring semester, college leadership is still monitoring COVID trends on campus and will communicate with the campus community as needed.
Now that the CDC has approved a new COVID-19 vaccine, the college is looking into options for an on-campus vaccine clinic later this fall. If you would like to get a vaccine sooner, they will soon be available locally including at the Walla Walla Walgreens by appointment starting as early as Monday, Sept. 18.
Staying Healthy This Fall
It’s also important to note that COVID-19 is just one of the sicknesses that could interfere with classes and work this fall. In the weeks and months ahead, we expect to see an uptick in cases of the flu and RSV which have the potential to cause more severe symptoms than COVID-19. For that reason, it is important that each member of the Whitman community pay attention to symptoms, wash hands frequently and stay home if you are sick.