Coronavirus outbreaks in Erie

Ivory Easton, Staff writer

Students of Mercyhurst University are in limbo in the amount of active cases that are plaguing this county.

The institution first decided to go remote until Nov. 11 to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic once more, but has since extended the policy through the end of the semester. There have been a recorded 38 new cases, almost doubling the amount of exposure from athletes on campus. 53 new cases were reported by the county.

The good news is that the negative test results are outweighing the amount of COVID-19 active cases in Erie County. There are 34,400 individuals who have tested negative in Erie County. The bad news is that the state pandemic figures have logged several cases daily and people are dying from contact exposure.

“Sunday is the sixth consecutive day of a surge that has seen at least 33 positive cases daily including 42 reported by the state on Saturday and a single-day record 53 reported by the county on Friday” (Erie Times-News Staff).

With the numbers of active coronavirus cases rising, students of Mercyhurst will not be coming back to the classroom this semester. The active cases have put a halt to commuter students as they have been asked to remain off campus as much as possible.

This includes limiting physical contact with their fellow residential peers as well as Mercyhurst faculty and staff. Those visiting home for the holidays must self-quarantine before re-entering the A/B hybrid schedule that allows for students to be physically distanced. Visa students cannot come back to campus due to exposure, and airline travel is limited.

Pennsylvania’s total number of cases as of late: 209,936. These odds are not in our favor. This pandemic has put an end to social, academic, and athletic life at Mercyhurst for both students and staff alike.

As always, Mercyhurst’s student body needs to follow CDC guidelines: frequently washing one’s hands and utilizing hand sanitizer when possible, remaining socially distanced (6 feet apart) and wearing a protective mask/face covering that covers both the nose and mouth. Additionally it is encouraged to limit the amount of activity spent outside one’s dorm and/ or home.

One should not risk their health and the health of others by going to bars and parties – places with high numbers of people. Do not be ignorant to possible exposures and be aware of any possible unnecessary risks.

These figures are scary, and people want answers. By following state mandated guidelines and following regulations, it is possible and important to combat this pandemic. These are not safe times and at many of us have active cases back home. How can we be physically here, but emotionally at home when we hear about active cases?