After an alarming spike in the campus’ COVID-19 positivity rate during the initial round of mandatory testing in early September, Salisbury University’s positivity rate fell to just 1.4% in last week’s tests, according to SU’s coronavirus dashboard.
Plummeting nearly 5% from its height of 6.2% positivity, the university has cut its positivity rate almost in half each of the last two weeks.
During his weekly COVID-19 briefing Thursday, President of Salisbury University Dr. Charles Wight praised the campus’ combined efforts on mitigating the spread of the virus.
“I once again thank the entire SU community for doing its part to lessen the risk of COVID-19. Your diligence in using face masks, physical distancing, washing your hands often … and avoiding large gatherings are what has allowed SU to keep its campus open.”
Given the promising results, Wight reiterated the university’s current plan to offer a “regular” Thanksgiving Break, beginning on that Wednesday, and then resuming classes on Monday.
Wight also announced that fall sports teams — both the school’s NCAA teams as well as its club and intramural teams — have begun “limited practices” for student athletes. Unlike other students, however, Wight did mention that in order to compete, all student athletes must first have a negative COVID-19 test on file and then have subsequent negative results every two weeks thereafter, rather than once every 30 days.
To continue these positive trends to combat coronavirus at SU, Wight said the university has now implemented a new service called “FoneMed” to help support the Counseling Center and Student Health Services.
“[FoneMed] provides a 24/7 nurse and counseling advice line for students and a place for employees to receive advice if they have COVID-19 symptoms. This is not meant to replace the offerings of Student Health Services, the Counseling Center or personal physicians, but provides a resource for times when those services are not available. Students should call 1-833-631-1065 for the nurse advice line or 1-833-631-1066 for FoneMed counseling advice. Employees should call 1-833-631-1701 for COVID-19 health advice.”
Students, staff and faculty will continue to receive emails alerting them to schedule a COVID-19 test on a rotating basis, with the next available testing days designated for Oct. 6-10 and self-swabbing now being administered.
For more information on SU’s new monthly testing protocols or to view the latest university COVID-19 test results, visit https://www.salisbury.edu/coronavirus/testing-info.aspx.
By JAKOB TODD
Featured image: Salisbury University Facebook page.