By Jenna Bunescu
Although it has been four years since the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus is still present in day-to-day life. Whitworth University is working in several ways to help students, staff and faculty with any new resurgence of the virus. “There might be pockets of outbreaks here and there,” said Dr. Kristiana Holmes, director of health services.
Some Whitworth professors contracted COVID-19 this month, and many classes temporarily switched to lecturing online. COVID-19 is a “huge disruption for students,” said Holmes. However, with much more now known about the virus, there are many ways to help mitigate it.
Spokane County’s community risk levels are currently low, and there does not seem to be an apparent revival of the pandemic. Yet, “we can expect an uptick in cases as we get a little bit farther into the fall and maybe early winter,” said Holmes.
COVID-19 is expected to “remain with us for the foreseeable future,” and it is on its way to “morphing” into something more like the flu, said Holmes. We will live with this virus for a while, so we should continue educating people about the risks and effects of the virus. Moreover, it is crucial to prepare for things that we cannot forecast and continue to keep ourselves safe and reducing risk factors.
“[I] highly [recommend] that everybody is up to date on their [COVID-19] vaccine,” said Holmes. Whitworth is partnering with the Washington State Department of Health, which provides Whitworth with services from the mobile vaccine clinic known as Care-a-Van. They will be coming to Whitworth to supply students with COVID-19 vaccinations this October and November.
More information about the Care-A-Van will be announced as the dates for arrival get closer.