In response to the unprecedented spikes of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the influenza diagnoses of previous falls, Montclair State University has taken initiative to prevent further illnesses.
The responses of the university included detailed instructions for students sick with COVID-19 and upcoming on-campus flu clinics that seek to accept students who desire to inoculate themselves.
More specifically, students infected with COVID-19 are required to return to their homes and isolate themselves for at least five days. Beginning with isolation, students are encouraged to wear a mask for a 10-day period.
To combat the flu, students have the option to register for clinics offering the flu vaccine in the months of October and November. Walk-ins are also permitted, so long as students have their University ID and insurance card on-hand.
Previous years witnessed quarantining, mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and mask wearing, encouraging proper hygiene and social distancing.
However, as the years went by, so have some regulations. The laxing of regulations was done with empirical evidence and the backing of many researchers and health professionals. Masks became non-enforceable and social gatherings were gradually permitted.
Still, COVID-19 and the flu have demonstrated that they can still destabilize the lives of the infected to varying degrees of severity. Of particular concern are people with underlying health conditions or other afflictions that increase their risk of severe illness.
Some students believe that Montclair State has done enough to combat the expected increase of illnesses.
Nabil Allan, a sophomore accounting major, is one of those students.
“I think they’re doing pretty good with the vaccines and boosters,” Allan said. “I think they’re doing enough.”
A junior majoring in jurisprudence, law and society, Barry Mahmoud believes that the campus community should consider safety procedures given by the university.
“I mean, at the end of the day, it’s up to the student’s and staff’s precaution,” Mahmoud said. “I think encouraging precautions is the right step to take.”
Supplemental measures like enforcing masks and requiring boosters and flu shots may be some additional steps Montclair State can take to respond to COVID-19 and the flu according to some students.
While Mikayla Pangulayan, a junior psychology major, thinks that Montclair State has been responding well. However, she said there is more the university could do.
“I think, in the past, they definitely have,” Pangulayan said. “Now, they’re doing good but they could do better.”