The University of Findlay stresses that Oilers stay safe and take precautions during this unpredictable time
By Leah Alsept
University of Findlay student Hannah Caram says she contracted the coronavirus a few weeks ago. Sept. 13 was her last day of quarantine, and she’s ready to go back out into the world.
“As of Sunday [Sept. 13] my quarantine has ended, I can go out in public,” said Caram. “The worst part was the anxiety and being away from everyone.”
Caram is one of the many students who have tested for the coronavirus in the 2020 fall semester. According to UF dashboard COVID Case Data Update on Sept. 14, there are five active cases on campus—a decline in cases from 11 on Sept. 4.
Contracting the coronavirus seemingly at random, Caram said her throat started hurting on Aug. 28 and filled out the Daily Health Tracker tool recommended by UF for their “Start Safe and Stay Safe” program. Caram was tested for the virus at the Cosiano Health Center on Aug. 31.
“The anxiety of figuring out that I was positive—I felt so guilty,” she said, recounting attending an in-person lecture after her testing at Cosiano that Monday.
Caram officially got a positive confirmation for COVID-19 on Thursday.
After self-isolating at her apartment for 10 days (the CDC recommends 10 days of self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19), she went a little stir-crazy in her bedroom with no windows, but she made it through by watching two seasons of the 2018 American drama series Yellowstone, keeping up with her schoolwork, and of course, sleeping.
Reflecting on her experience, Caram is thankful for the ease in transitioning to isolation.
“I enjoy having the option at least, if I’m not feeling too well, to just join lecture online. Previously, if you think about it, you just missed it. You had to ask somebody for notes or ask somebody to record the lecture,” she said.
Vice President of Student Affairs at UF, Dave Emsweller, says the Daily Health Monitoring Tool that Caram used to track her symptoms may become required in the near future for all Oilers. It has only been recommended—not required—that students use the tool since it’s release.
“Mainly just so students are just actually thinking about it and taking care of themselves as well as each other,” he said. “But we also thought that by requiring it we can have a better sense day to day on how the whole campus community looks in terms of people reporting symptoms.”
Emsweller thinks spring semester looks hopeful for the University to continue in-person classes.
“So far, we appear to be doing okay,” he said. “We’ll need to see how many tests we have this week and how many positive cases we have in the next few weeks. Our hope is that we can keep the cases at a manageable level so we can continue to have live classes or have people on campus.”
The University of Findlay asks Oilers to continue to wear masks, social distance when possible, and use the Daily Health Monitoring Tool.
“The only way we’re going to control this [virus] is if people do that [take precautions]. I’m worried that as time goes on, people will be less committed to those things, and that we could end up having an outbreak,” Emsweller said. “I know people are tired, but everyone has to do that if we still want to have live classes.”
Masks and social distancing are still required in the state of Ohio. The CDC recommends for higher education: hand sanitizer and “surface sanitizing supplies” be placed in “high-contact locations,” one-way entry and exit signs for buildings, and six-foot distancing protocol, among the “Responsible RestartOhio” plan.
For more information on the University’s response on COVID-19, please visit the coronavirus Safety & Security webpage.