By Olivia Pipia
On March 3rd, nearly two years after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pace University was pleased to announce that they would be moving their Covid-19 Alert Level to Green on all campuses effective Monday, March 7th.
The low Covid-19 community levels and low positivity rates across their campuses is ultimately what prompted this decision for the university.
Following this announcement were guidelines for the campus’ New Normal, which included: masks being optional in most places on campus, no more community testing for most of the Pace Community, no more daily health screenings via the PaceSafe app, event capacity restrictions being lifted, and visitor access to campus being restored.
While all of this is good news for the students, staff, and faculty at Pace, I personally feel as if a lot of these guidelines were altered too quickly. I agree with them for the most part, but there are still some aspects I would keep in place for our university to continue to be so successful at keeping an array of positive tests from occurring.
Although masks will be optional in most places on campus, I appreciate Pace still requiring masks in the classrooms, elevators, in healthcare settings, on Pace transportation, and for those who are exempt from the vaccine requirement. Some classes at Pace have over 50 students, and if the mask mandate was lifted in its entirety a lot of students would feel uncomfortable even going to class.
Community testing is no longer required on campus which is understandable, but I believe that Pace should test students after vacations and breaks. During this time, so many students are traveling across the country and taking public transportation which can be tricky when trying to combat Covid-19.
PaceSafe App & Daily Health Screenings
While this is something that is no longer required, I do not see the reasoning as to why this is no longer required. Yes, Covid-19 cases are at a low, but this app is fast, free, and an easy way of tracking students symptoms. Since it only takes less than two minute to fill out, I do not see why this is something that should no longer be in place.
These are three main points I wanted to highlight and express my opinions on. Event capacity restrictions being lifted is a tricky topic as well, but if following guidelines like wearing masks and checking vaccination status, I don’t see this being much of an issue.
I understand Pace is trying to get back to normal on campus and I appreciate that, but there are some aspects I would not jump right into. The Pace community still has to be cautious because we never know when another outbreak will occur.