By Kelly Kennedy, Social Media Editor
(Tamara Britt interview compiled by Isaiah Rosario)
The daily symptom tracker system will stay in place until at least the end of the semester, despite various COVID-19 requirements being lifted throughout the semester.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, MC has put multiple testing, vaccine and symptom tracker protocols in place. By completing all of these requirements, students obtain a green pass which allows them to be on campus. Orange pass status is given to students who do not follow the rules, and red pass status is for students who tested positive or have been in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19. Those with orange or red passes are not allowed to attend class or be on campus.
Pete McHugh, director of media relations & strategic communications, clarified the rules for surveillance testing for the rest of the spring 2022 semester.
“Individuals who have an approved vaccine exemption are required to continue obtaining a COVID-19 test every 7 days to receive a green pass,” said McHugh.
With surveillance testing no longer being a requirement for students, “orange” pass status will no longer be something that students and teachers have to worry about.
“Part of why we don’t worry as much about surveillance testing is because people are paying attention to their symptoms and reporting them in and staying home if they have them,” Provost Steven Schreiner said.
With both the mask mandate and surveillance testing requirements lifted, the Daily Symptom tracker or “Green Pass” system will be the main way Manhattan College handles COVID-19 cases and contact tracing.
“At least through the end of the spring 2022 semester, everyone should continue completing the daily symptom tracker accurately and honestly in order to receive a green pass,” McHugh said. “This is the best way to systematically review who has tested positive on campus, who may be a close contact, along with individuals experiencing symptoms. It has been beneficial to Health Services and is something that may be continued in the future, although that hasn’t been determined.”
It is not confirmed how much longer the green pass system will be in effect.
“Things are changing rapidly, locally and across the country. So there’s no definitive answer yet except to say that we’re going to keep watching the data to be sure we would make the right decision,” Schreiner said.
Schreiner is confident that the Daily Symptom Tracker will keep students and faculty safe.
“It depends on the community, the users because back to our One Manhattan principle of we’re all in this together,” Schreiner said.
And with the mask mandate lifted, it is very important that students and faculty keep track of their possible COVID-19 symptoms, and stay home if they feel sick.
For now, tracking your symptoms daily through the Glance App is the only thing vaccinated students need to obtain a green pass. But come Summer 2022, booster shots will also be required.
Tamara Britt, vice president for external and legal affairs, general counsel and chief of staff to the president, summarizes how the student’s input is always valued and will be reevaluated in some form next semester.
“[The Daily Symptom Tracker] is something that’s up for discussion as well,” Britt said. “Definitely through the end of this semester [students will continue to update their green pass], and then we will reevaluate like we do everything else. We don’t just say this is what it is, and there’s no further discussion. In some cases, it might take the form of a survey, in some cases it might take the form of going to whatever the representation is, so student government, faculty council, etc.”