SNHU Fieldhouse Converted into COVID-19 overflow (image courtesy: Concord Monitor)

A student in the Monadnock building on campus recently tested positive for the Coronavirus. They have been required to isolate in their dorm and be put under medical monitoring. After the recent positive test, a new plan of action for requirements on campus have been spurred into action. 

Before coming to campus, students are required to take the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, a nasal swab used to detect Covid. Up until recently, residents had to take and test negative for a COVID test every other week. If students lived outside of New England, they were required to quarantine for up to 2 weeks. However, starting the week after Thanksgiving, groups of students are going to alternate taking the test every week. 

“We are going to increase that testing to 50 percent of the population, so 50 percent one week, 50 percent the next week,” says Karen Estabrook, Assistant Director of Health Services. Beginning next semester, the tests will increase to a weekly occurrence. 

When a resident tests positive, they are required to isolate in their campus apartment and they must undergo contact tracing, during which public safety contacts them and compiles information on who they talked to and where they have been. Other residents will also be asked to take another series of PCR tests. Should the number of positive cases surpass the suggested level, everyone would be asked to go home and the campus would be shut down.

Recently, the student who tested positive has come off quarantine. “Younger people tend not to be very sick, people are more bored than anything else. And lonely,” says Estabrook. The Wellness Center wants to remind students that they are open for Telemedicine for New Hampshire residents as well as Telecounseling, which are both virtual methods for patient care and services. 

In the future when SNHU returns to classes on campus, staff and students will want to know about the plans regarding the developing Covid-19 vaccine.

“The Covid vaccine requirement is not a rule- especially since no vaccine has come out for the public use as of this date. We will have to look at the data once it has been released before requiring it,” says Estabrook.

In order to prevent contracting Covid, everyone should wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance. If anyone is experiencing symptoms listed in the CDC guidelines, immediately contact your medical provider or the Wellness Center at 603.645.9679.