The semester is in full swing, but with it have come several COVID cases. According to the SNHU COVID-19 Dashboard (locatable at snhu.edu/about-us/covid-19/dashboard), there is one student positive on campus.
The Dashboard states that it is updated weekly and “serves as a way to offer transparency to the SNHU and surrounding communities.” However, that information is from the testing period ending on September 30. The information was published on October 5, meaning that the Dashboard is already five days out date. In reality, the number of positive cases is higher.
The procedure for students with confirmed COVID cases is to quarantine the student for ten days, regardless of vaccination status. While that is happening, the COVID Taskforce (working with Public Safety) conduct contact tracing.
Students may have noticed paper flyers on the doors to some buildings on campus. These flyers titled “COVID-19 NOTIFICATION,” are some of the only ways to track the number of cases on campus, and where they were located, as the Dashboard is out of date. However even this method is inconsistent, as a case from Kingston, self tested on September 11, and confirmed by SNHU on September 13, had no flyers posted about it until September 16, a full five days after the first test.
Students will also notice that in the two update weeks from August 27 to September 2 and from September 3 to September 9, according to the Dashboard there were no COVID cases on campus. However, some students may remember seeing flyers posted on Robert Frost Hall and SETA on September 1 and Washington Hall on September 8 stating that there were COVID-positive students on campus. That is because until September 8, the COVID Dashboard did not track any confirmed positive cases not done by SNHU tests, even if the university posted flyers about them on buildings that they had been in.
The information on the Dashboard does not include the positive cases from October 1, being a student living in Lincoln Hall and the student living in Windsor Hall, which was posted at the dining hall four days before the Dashboard’s update. Because the testing date was after the period of September 24 to September 30, that case will not be reported until Tuesday October 12.
“The SNHU COVID-19 Dashboard is updated weekly on Tuesday mornings in order to provide accurate numbers after our weekly testing occurs,” said Siobhan Lopez, Assistant Director of Media Relations, in an email. However Tuesday, October 5 came and went and the Dashboard was only updated to the information available on Thursday, September 30. When asked why the Dashboard is only being updated weekly, Lopez said, “If SNHU increases testing protocols on campus, the frequency of the updates may also change.”