COVID-19 update: cases, vaccinations and boosters on campus and worldwide
Although campus is seeing more face-to-face interaction, the COVID-19 pandemic is still a problem. This year, students are experiencing a more normal college experience, but they are still being affected by guidelines that prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect students and staff.
According to North Dakota State University, 29 total confirmed positive cases have been reported on campus within the last ten days, as of Nov. 1. These cases are confirmed through public health entities or through self reporting. More cases could be occurring that NDSU is not aware of, or have not been reported.
As of Oct. 31 the U.S. had 18,883 new cases reported. The U.S. leads the world in the number of confirmed deaths from the virus with more than 745,800 people dead from COVID-19, according to NPR.
The world has also been seeing a surge of cases in regions where international travel has seen more relaxed safety measures. “As of Oct. 26, the European region experienced an 18% surge in new COVID-19 cases,” according to NPR. Southeast Asia is also seeing a surge similar to that in Europe.
On Oct. 31, visitors of Shanghai Disneyland were forced into a lockdown when one guest tested positive for COVID-19. The visitors were locked inside the park with Chinese government officials guarding the exits.
Around 34,000 administered tests were given to guests in a single night, all of which tested negative. According to NPR, “Chinese media say an estimated 100,000 people visited the park Saturday and Sunday, all of whom will now need to be tested.”
The United States is still moderately strict of international travelers. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you are traveling internationally, “you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status) before you travel by air into the United States.”
Vaccination eligibility is also changing in the U.S. as COVID-19 vaccines are available for children ages five to 11. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE coronavirus vaccine for children, according to Reuters.
The program for child vaccination will be fully functioning by the next week, Nov. 8. According to CNBC, “Covid outbreaks have led to more than 2,000 school closures — impacting more than 1 million children and 68,000 teachers — nationwide since August.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, mandated that all municipal city officials must be vaccinated for COVID-19 or put on unpaid leave. Protests and unions have been occurring with police and firefighters across the city.
According to CNN, “Mayor Bill de Blasio said approximately 9,000 city employees are on leave without pay as of Monday, out of a workforce of 378,000, for not complying with vaccine mandate regulations.”
NDSU also encourages vaccines for students. The university provided a $100 incentive for students who were fully vaccinated by Oct. 15 Over 60% of NDSU students have been fully vaccinated. This is similar to the national number of about 58% of the U.S. population being vaccinated.
NDSU students are strongly encouraged by administration to wear masks indoors on campus, however, masks are required when in a classroom.
Booster shots have been available to those who are at extreme risk for COVID-19. The majority of fully vaccinated people are eligible for a booster shot. According to CNN, “At least 89% of vaccinated American adults are eligible once enough time has passed since their original shots.”
The booster shots are meant to further protect people at risk from COVID-19. According to Reuters, the Pfizer vaccine was 95.6% effective against the coronavirus.
“We are committed to minimizing the impact of the pandemic while also being responsible to the health and safety of our students and employees,” stated Laura Mcdaniel, Associate Vice President at NDSU.