College Announces Low COVID-19 Positivity Rate, Updates to Dining Services

by, Kyla Guilfoil & Anna Woods, Staff Writer & Assistant News & Features Editor

 Manhattan College continues to maintain a low positive test rate, with only one positive test result recorded in the last 14 days, according to the weekly email sent from the OneManhattan team of administrators on Oct. 29. 

The email reported that there were 688 tests completed at campus testing sites during the last 14 days, resulting in no new positive test results and 172 test results still pending. Additionally, Health Services received 115 results from off-campus testing sites, resulting in one positive case. 

“While the College testing results are encouraging, due to the rising number of cases citywide and nationwide, caution is still advised on campus and off-campus,” the email stated. 

Despite rising cases citywide, OneManhattan asserts that the positive test average in the last 14 days for the college is 0.12 percent. This pales in comparison to the positive test average in the last seven days for New York City, which was 1.3 percent as of Wednesday, Oct. 28. 

OneManhattan is continuing to link a dashboard in their weekly update emails that communicates statistics on COVID-19 cases across the MC community. The dashboard shows graphs and tables including the number of cases, number of quarantining or isolating students, and the number of tests performed since Aug. 1. The dashboard also provides data separated into categories of on-campus students, on-campus employees, and results from on-campus or off-campus testing sites. 

The thorough supervision of cases and low positive test average on campus has encouraged MC to reopen its few indoor dining facilities. Additionally, the email notified the community that the indoor dining times at Locke’s Loft will be expanded beginning on Nov. 2 to accommodate its patrons for lunch. From Monday to Friday, the college community can dine indoors from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m, and on Saturday and Sunday, the hours expand to 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

The college is continuing to follow COVID-19 social distancing protocols during this staggered reopening process.

“Capacity for indoor dining will remain at 25 percent on campus until further notice,” the email stated. “The tents will remain in place until Thanksgiving break.” 

After providing updates on indoor dining services, the OneManhattan team included a reminder to students and staff about the importance of sanitation. 

“There are wipes and hand sanitizer in each classroom on campus,” the email read. “Feel free to wipe down your desk or work area before and after being in the classroom.” 

The weekly One Manhattan update concluded with a familiar reminder to students, faculty and employees to wear their masks around campus and in their communities. 

The #JaspersReturn face covering contest requires participants to send a photo of themselves in their mask for a chance to win a $50 gift card to the Manhattan College Bookstore, or an optional bookstore gift card/Dining Dollars combo prize for those on campus. This round of the contest required a creative, fall theme Last week’s winners of #JaspersReturns face covering contest were Ally Mejia and James Grell, who participated in the “Best Dressed” theme. 

As always, the email reminded Manhattan College students, faculty and staff to continue following all safety guidelines in place.