COVID-19 cases appear to be increasing across campus. During the Fall 2021 Reopening Testing, 89 members of the Fairfield community tested positive out of 10,662, a rate of .835%. In November, Vice President for Marketing and Communications Jennifer Anderson stated to The Mirror that the current case count was zero, although no collection of those results remain on the COVID-19 dashboard.

For the week ending on Dec. 3, 41 tests came back positive out of 877, a roughly 4.7% positivity rate. Students have still raised concerns about seemingly increased COVID-19 cases. 

Senior Olivia Burke stated that she feels as though she’s heard of more people getting contact traced or testing positive lately and states that maybe people were exposed during Thanksgiving. 

Junior Caroline McConville added that, “With COVID cases on the rise it is making me very nervous for possibly getting it during finals and how that will impact not only preparing, but taking them.”

In November The Mirror attempted to ask administrators what would happen if a student tested positive during Finals Week and Vice President of Marketing & Communication, Jennifer Anderson did not answer. 

But, despite a lack of University response, many professors have begun moving finals from in-person to virtual.

Junior Anna Mercurio stated that, “My teacher said that she’s making her final exam online because of the risk of being all together in the exam room while some people are unvaccinated.”

Mercurio added that she’s happy it’s online and said, “I also know that the rise in COVID cases recently made her make this decision. It’s crazy the cases went up so much.” 

A professor in the Department of Religious Studies, Ellen Umansky, Ph.D. is one of the faculty members that’s decided to move one of her exams online due to recent trends. 

“I decided this morning to move my previously scheduled in person exam to virtual after the registrar denied my request (and I’m sure the request of other faculty members) to move the final to a larger room,” Umansky stated, continuing, “Some of the students in the course are unvaccinated and our classroom in Canisius fits my 24 students and me but without much space between desks and chairs. Out of care and concern for the health of my students and me, I decided to give an open book, ‘take home’ exam which students will send back to me as a Word or PDF attachment. 

She added that she’s giving an in-person final in one of her classes due to a 100% vaccination rate, “I don’t know whether other professors will make this change. I am trying to remain optimistic that the administration will put a vaccine mandate in place for next semester.” 

Junior Kayla Brosnihan adds that, “I think the rate of covid cases shows that regardless of vaccine status there still needs to be caution and measures taken to ensure we stop the rise of cases so we don’t spread it to our families come winter break.”

  The Mirror will continue to update the story as needed.

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