A number of cases found in Cornell A total of 903 Covid-19 cases were found in the Cornell University students between December 7-13 and a large percentage of them are Omicron variant cases despite being fully vaccinated, according to sources from the university.
The Covid dashboard of the university was updated late Tuesday afternoon due to the spike in the number of cases. Joel Malina, who is the Vice President for University Relations, in a statement said, “Virtually every case of the American variant to date has been found in fully vaccinated students, a portion of whom had also received a booster shot.”
Consequently, the university made its decision to close the campus in Ithaca and New York which has about 25,600 students. The overall rate of vaccination among the students of Cornell is 99%. The university will hold the final examinations for the current semester in online mode, cancel all activities, and shut the libraries, wrote President Martha Pollack in a message to the students.
Statement of College Authorities
Malina said that adequate steps are being taken on campus to assist students who have tested negative to return home safely for the winter break and in an effort to contain the transmission of the Omicron variant to at-risk populations.
Pollack added, “While I want to provide reassurance that, to date, we have not seen severe illness in any of our infected students, we do have a role to play in reducing the spread of the disease in the broader community.”
University Regulations and Vaccination Policy
The University had a policy of compulsory vaccination for students except only on religious or medical grounds. All unvaccinated and several vaccinated students are needed to undergo surveillance testing. Wearing masks is mandatory inside. The employees must be vaccinated by January 18.
On the university website, it shows 97% per cent of people on campus are fully vaccinated. The campus officials said, “Cornell is not requiring members of our community to receive a booster at this time; however, as breakthrough cases continue to occur, we encourage you to consider receiving a booster.”
The last day of classes at Cornell was December 7 and its final exam is scheduled from December 11-18 according to the online academic calendar.
According to the New York Times, other colleges have ramped up measures to curb the transmission of coronavirus on campus. Middlebury College in Vermont switched to the remote mode for the remainder of the semester in the previous week.
The DePaul University of Chicago and Southern New Hampshire University also said they would opt for remote instructions when classes restart in January.