Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Salisbury University only requires COVID testing for students with registered vaccination exemptions, according to the SU COVID-10 Testing Information webpage.
However, more vaccinated people are catching COVID in the United States.
22,115 vaccinated COVID patients were hospitalized or died in the US as of Sept. 27, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Furthermore, booster vaccine doses may become necessary. President Joe Biden recently received an extra shot “after data showed immunity from the Pfizer shot begins to wane after six to eight months,” according to National Public Radio.
It is currently unknown when booster shots will be available to students. The Food and Drug Administration is still working to clear new doses from Moderna and Johnson&Johnson, according to the Consumer News and Business Channel.
Vaccinated students with COVID symptoms can get tested only “on a case-by-case basis.” Take-home tests are available for asymptomatic vaccinated students. However, take-home testing “requires taking two tests at least 36 hours apart,” according to the SU COVID-10 Testing Information webpage.
However, testing can be “less accurate within three days of exposure” for vaccinated individuals, according to Norton Healthcare.
Vaccinated students who do not wait to get tested until three days after contact with an individual could expose others to the disease.
Weekly mandatory testing for all students should be reinstated due to COVID’s evolution, delayed test results and the upcoming holiday season.
Students will be going home or vacationing for Thanksgiving before returning for finals.
COVID spiked after Thanksgiving in 2020 with a 20%+ increase in new cases, 21% rise in hospitalizations and 39% higher rate in deaths.
If similar figures return this year, current testing policies pose a risk to SU’s campus. This is complicated by the upcoming flu season. Individuals infected with the flu can still catch COVID, as previously reported by The Flyer.
By CRYSTAL CALDWELL
Featured photo by Andrea Gerber