Written by: Emma Boughman
The number of Southern Adventist University students testing positive for COVID-19 this semester reflects the recent increased spread of the virus happening nationwide.
According to a CNBC article published on Sept. 6, COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths were declining this year until the summer.
“New hospitalizations have jumped about 16% in the U.S. over the past week continuing an upward trend that began in late July, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the article stated.
Candace Wing, director of the University Health Center, said the clinic saw about twenty-two COVID-19 cases within the first three weeks of this school year. That number does not include students who have tested positive independently and reported that status.
Two students who recently had COVID-19 shared their experience with the Accent. Sophomore Marc Briggs said he was tested at the UHC and received test results within 15-18 minutes. Mia Sakata, sophomore history major, also tested at the UHC and received results within ten minutes.
“[The UHC staff] offered everything from Gatorade to NyQuil to acetaminophen … they were really generous,” Sakata said.
Once students have tested positive, they are to isolate themselves for five days in their place of residence or at home if they live close enough, Wing said. Isolation starts when symptoms begin. Five days after isolation began, students may return to normal activities but must wear a mask in public areas.
Briggs messaged the Accent about his experience having COVID-19 during SmartStart last year and how it compared to contracting the virus this year. Last year, Briggs struggled to catch up with schoolwork, but his most recent experience was definitely better, he said. Briggs hopes the nation does not have another breakout similar to the 2020 pandemic.
“It was a very lonely time for many people,” Briggs said.
Wing explained that administration does not expect to change current COVID-19-related policies at this time.
“They will continue to monitor the local case numbers, severity of symptoms and hospitalization rates for our area,” Wing said.
Students can get tested for COVID-19 in several locations, including the UHC or local urgent care centers. Self-tests are available to purchase at most pharmacies.