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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola Stays Strong Despite COVID Spike

Loyola University Maryland maintains strong optimism during the start of the new school year as reports of a rise in COVID-19 cases continue to surface.
Enrique Muchacho

The recent spike in COVID-19 cases, which comes just four months after the federal public health emergency was declared over by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been coming about from a series of new mutations originating from  former COVID-19 variants. Despite this, President Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., assures that the spike in cases will not be a serious issue.

“We as a university, as a country, as a world, and the public health community have a much better understanding of what this virus is and how to combat it, as well as a deeper understanding of all the social elements of COVID, and how it affects people. We have vaccines and antiviral drugs that are proven to be effective, so I would say that we’re at a completely different position to combat any spikes in COVID,” President Sawyer said in an interview with student reporter Enrique Muchacho ‘25.

President Sawyer continues to converse with public health professionals. Despite the end of the public health emergency, he claims that the spike is part of a “relatively normal course for any virus, as viruses continue to mutate and infect other people.”

“We will continue to offer flu and COVID vaccine clinics each fall on campus for the whole Loyola Community. We will encourage students, faculty, and staff to continue to protect themselves from contracting any illness, including COVID but other things as well, through constant handwashing, getting enough rest, and staying home when you’re sick,” he said.

The flu and COVID vaccine clinics are scheduled to come to Loyola four times this fall, and according to Julie Sanz, MSN, ANP-BC, Director of the Loyola Student Health Center, the process is simple for students.

“[The clinics] do take health insurance, so students can sign up for an appointment with them, and if for some reason, the pharmacy didn’t take insurance, they would go ahead and bill the student and we would cover part of the cost of the vaccine. We will continue to provide COVID tests, and we will continue to test students as we deem necessary regarding their symptoms and exposure,” Sanz said.

Sanz also recommends students should work to protect themselves by following basic guidelines, such as washing their hands, wearing their masks when they feel unwell, and taking good care of themselves by eating well-balanced meals, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest.

“I really do not foresee a future where we’ll go back to the way things were when we had to send people home and close down school. I can’t imagine that would happen again, although there are no guarantees in life or in medicine, but we will continue to address the needs of students,” Sanz said.

Despite the small number of spikes being reported across the country, Victoria Marcondis ’27 says that she is not that worried about the new surge.

“I’m not that concerned about it this time around just because we know more about COVID than when the pandemic first emerged. We know the protocols of COVID, so I think that it’ll be better contained, even though it spiked,” said Marcondis.

When it comes to the reaction of other students, Marcondis believes there will be several opinions about the surge.

“I think overall, there will be a lot of mixed opinions since many people come from different places, some of which didn’t take COVID seriously and some that did, and I think students will handle it very differently from others. There may be others who might not be so concerned because of the precautions, and because we know this virus better than we did in 2020,” she said.

Despite the new variants and the rise of COVID cases following the end of the pandemic, Loyola continues to hold a strong sense of confidence that everything will be well, and that they are prepared for anything in case the need arises.

“One of the things that COVID taught me is that you have to be prepared for anything and that you cannot predict what the future holds. I am fully confident in our Loyola community and our public health officials to lead us through these spikes without any major disruptions like we dealt with in 2020,” President Sawyer said.

If you are feeling ill, you are encouraged to make an appointment with the Student Health Center in Seton Court 02A. To make an appointment, call the Student Health Center at 410-617-5055. See Loyola’s COVID information page for more details about testing, reporting COVID cases, and preventative recommendations.

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