(PresidentialWire.com)- On Tuesday, Cornell University announced that it would be reverting back to 2020-era lockdowns for the final week of classes this year, citing their concern about the number of students who contracted COVID-19 between December 6 and 13.
On the university’s online dashboard which reports the number of COVID-19 cases on campus, a further 903 cases were reported over the last week as the new highly contagious – yet milder – variant of COVID known as Omicron spreads across the country. The university’s COVID alert status has now been upgraded to “red” which means that students are at a “high risk.”
The term “high risk,” however, is misleading. There has yet to be a single case of a healthy individual dying of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, with still small numbers of people who contracted the virus dying with the infection. Scientists have recognized that most people who contract Omicron develop milder symptoms more like the common cold or a mild flu.
Under the new red alert at Cornell, students, faculty, visitors, and staff are all required to wear masks while indoors and even outdoors when they cannot physically distance. In-person classes have been moved online, and many facilities throughout the campus including gyms are now expected to close.
Dining halls and libraries will also have a restricted capacity and new physical distancing requirements.
A letter from Cornell President Martha Pollock explained the closures, describing how the Ithica, New York campus would be closed from December 14. All athletics events and activities were also canceled.
This is the world now. Will schools and businesses shut down every year that a new variant of COVID-19 emerges?