MC Celebrates First Month of In-Person Learning

By, Nicole Fitzsimmons, News Editor

Moving into the fall month of October, Manhattan College continues to update students and faculty regarding the COVID-19 status on campus.

In an email to the Manhattan College community on Sept. 30, One Manhattan celebrated the achievements of students, faculty and administration following a full in person month on campus after over a year of chaos amongst the pandemic.

“It’s been a great first month,” the email stated. “We had more than 150 students go see Wicked on Broadway last week; more than 400 students went to the Yankees game Student Engagement hosted; all Performing Arts groups are up and running; our Movies on the Quad and Student Lecture Series were a huge success; our second Leadership Weekend retreat is coming up this weekend, geared toward new
students.”

With these accomplishments in mind, the college also updated the community with the ongoing statistics of COVID-19 on campus.

One Manhattan reported that within the past 14 days, Health Services has processed 533 COVID-19 tests from on campus and off campus testing with 8 positive results.

The positive test rate for the college over this time period is 1.5%. The email states that the seven day positive test rate of New York City as a whole is 2.2% from Sept. 28, as a point of comparison.

Important information about the positivity rate amongst vaccinated individuals and those with approved exemptions on campus was also provided in the email.

“Since the start of the semester, we have seen 14 positive cases among the 4,316 individuals (0.3%) who are vaccinated on campus. There have been 7 positive cases among the 170 individuals (4.1%) who
hold exemptions to our vaccine requirement,” the email stated.

To continue updating results in an efficient manner, the college once again offered COVID-19 Abbott antigen (rapid) testing on campus the day this email was sent out on Sept. 30 from one p.m. to three p.m. in the lobby of Smith Auditorium.

It is encouraged for any student, faculty, staff member or administrator to get tested at these pop up clinics, as long as they are in compliance with COVID-19 requirements on campus. This is especially encouraged for those individuals who are experiencing symptoms.

The email reminds the community, however, that the rapid tests are not substitutes for weekly PCR surveillance testing for individuals with approved exemptions.

Despite the promising state of campus during the first month back in person, the college reminds students about the importance of wearing a mask at all times when indoors.

“In order to continue to have these opportunities to come together, we need to reiterate why we have an indoor mask mandate on campus,” the email stated.

To ensure that students truly understand the importance of the mask mandate, the email continued to explain the significance of masks indoors.

“It is not just about protecting you; it’s about protecting the people around you: the classmate who may not be able to be vaccinated due to a medical condition, the faculty member who has two young children at home who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated yet, a staff person who takes care of an elderly parent who is more susceptible to illness than a college student. It’s about them. Please wear a mask indoors.”

These continued updates and reminders ensure that all members of the Manhattan College community know what they should be doing and what is occurring on campus to keep test rates low and everyone
healthy.

Yet, the email reminds the community that if everyone continues to follow guidelines, campus can continue to thrive like it once did.

“Our classrooms are hosting lively discussions, and we had special guest speakers and lecturers on campus, including our own faculty and administrators. We are truly grateful for having these opportunities to come together in person,” the email stated.