TO: Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Faculty, Staff, and Researchers
FROM: Environmental Health and Safety and University Health Services
SUBJECT: COVID Update
DATE: April 8, 2022
Dear students, faculty, staff, and researchers,
In light of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases on campus, we wanted to confirm what we’re seeing and offer information on mitigation measures you may consider.
In the last ten days, we have tracked a rise in cases on campus, especially among undergraduates. We are not aware of any resulting hospitalizations among our campus community. The CDC Community Level remains low and Mercer County hospitalizations are low. Demand for isolation space for students has increased, but we have been able to accommodate.
While the impact on campus does not warrant the University raising the Campus Mitigation level from “baseline” to “moderate,” we wanted to remind you of things you can do based on your personal situation. For example, you may decide to wear a mask indoors or test weekly.
We would also like to clear up any confusion there may be related to the Positivity Rate published to the COVID Dashboard. On March 7, the requirement for asymptomatic testing shifted from weekly to monthly for members of the University community who are up to date on vaccines. As a result, the pool of the University community members tested each week has changed.
Also, information available to UHS indicates that a substantial percentage of samples each week are being submitted by individuals who are experiencing symptoms or had a recent exposure – and therefore have a higher likelihood of testing positive than the campus population overall.
For these reasons, the positivity rate of the testing pool — the number of positive tests each week divided by the number of tests performed — cannot be directly compared with the campus positivity rates measured prior to March 7, 2022.
If you have questions about testing, isolation, or masks, please visit the COVID Resources website. Additional questions may be directed to the University’s COVID Connector support line at 609-258-7000 Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.
Irini Daskalaki, M.D., Medical Lead, COVID-19 Response, University Health Services
Robin Izzo, Assistant Vice President, Environmental Health and Safety
Melissa Marks, M.D., Director, Medical Services, University Health Services