Taylor Brown, Correspondent
In recent weeks, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has experienced a decline in COVID-19 cases. Registered nurse Denise Littlejohn works in the wellness center and manages all COVID-19 related issues on campus. She told Horizons how students can stay safe and keep COVID-19 cases on the decline.
Littlejohn believes the greatest contributing factor to the decline in cases is due to the growing herd-immunity on campus as well as safety precautions. Littlejohn says “As more people get infected with a coronavirus variant, there are fewer people left to infect.” She claims the decline in positive tests at Embry-Riddle is a reflection of the decline in cases across the nation.
COVID-19 cases have been fluctuating drastically over the course of the 2021-2022 school year. Littlejohn says: “We have seen a surge in COVID-19 cases at the beginning of each semester, and after holidays or breaks that the university has had. This was then followed by a decline in cases.”
As the semester continues and students stay relatively contained on the Embry-Riddle campus, the spread of COVID-19 is halted. But in order to curb the severity of COVID-19 spikes, the Wellness Center provides as many services and safety protocols as they can to protect staff and students.
“Embry-Riddle follows CDC guidance and best practices to keep facilities and high-touch surfaces clean and sanitized. We’ve had surveillance testing available for both students and staff throughout the semester,” says Littlejohn, “We’ve also had COVID-19 vaccinations available at the Wellness Center.”
Getting vaccinated is one of the most recommended ways to ensure safety for yourself and the public. By contacting the Wellness Center and making an appointment, students can get their first shot to fight the spread of COVID-19.
Safety protocols, vaccinations, and regular testing are all methods of preventing the next strike in cases. But regardless, Littlejohn says “There’s always the lurking threat of a new variant appearing on the international scene. This is why it is important to stay up to date with vaccinations, be aware of the COVID-19 Community levels, and follow local county and CDC guidelines.”
Some of the best ways to keep yourself and others safe include vaccinations, staying home when exhibiting symptoms, keeping in touch with your medical provider, regular hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and treating all bodily fluids as potentially infectious.
When asked how Embry-Riddle students and staff should proceed in the light of a COVID-19 decline, Littlejohn said “We continue to strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19. Embry-Riddle also encourages everyone to
follow current CDC guidelines regarding the use of face masks. We further urge everyone to practice good hand hygiene and stay home if they are sick.”