Written by Jack Miller
As students return to campus, and in-person activities begin to resume after a year of remote activities, Roanoke College continues to remind students that while our community has done great things to slow and prevent COVID-19 we are not yet fully through it. As the Delta variant and other various mutations of the disease begin to appear more and more throughout our country, and the world as a whole, Roanoke College has taken the safety of its community and student body to heart.
While the campus community is over 90% vaccinated there are still members of the community who are immunocompromised or members of the at-risk community. Furthermore, many Roanoke professors have young children at home who are currently ineligible to receive the vaccine. Because of these reasons as well as airing on the side of caution, the College has decided to continue to enforce a mask policy throughout September, to be reevaluated come October. Alongside this, the College is urging the student body to not, under the current circumstances, gather in large, unmasked gatherings. While outdoor gatherings and moderate-sized, indoor masked gatherings are permitted, the CDC still does not advise large, unmasked gatherings due to the lack of information about the more recent, highly contractable Delta variant.
The College is committed to offering the students in-person classes this year. While Zoom teaching may have been helpful last year due to the unique position COVID placed us in, the College values teaching in classrooms as the best way to present the Roanoke College education. While the College is offering in-person classes this year, the staff want to make it abundantly clear that if anyone has any symptoms of COVID not to come to class. Doing so will prevent further mutation of the virus and keep all our members of the community healthy and ensure a happy and fulfilling 2021-2022 schoolyear.
The College is placing every precaution possible to make this school year as normal as possible, and unlike last year, the possibility of a relatively virus-free year is possible due to vaccinations and developments in the way of our understanding of COVID-19. If you feel like you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact Health Services and they will help you get a test and any further help if necessary. Welcome back, Maroons! Let’s work together to ensure that this year is a successful, in-person year, for not just our College community but our larger local community as well.