By Hojung Ryu
Student faith in the University of Maryland’s COVID-19 response is declining as the number of positive cases increases each week.
The university’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 50 new cases for the week of Nov. 8, with a 1.2% of positivity rate for UMD-administered tests.
While the university has been following state guidelines and safety measures with nearly 29% of isolation and quarantine housing available, student concerns have been rising in the face of the upcoming football season.
Students have also reported being more nervous and concerned about returning home to friends and family for Thanksgiving break.
“I don’t, in a way, have faith in the university because they’re not really dealing with off-campus-related social gatherings,” said Avery Lawless, a sophomore public health science major. “But on campus, I think they’re doing a good job of, like, the daily monitor thing before you come on campus. I think that’s pretty effective.”
Lawless also said she thinks the coronavirus is mostly spreading due to off-campus activities. She said she believes people who are responsible for spreading COVID-19 should be held accountable in order to raise student consciousness about the severity of the virus.
Jenna Weinreb, a sophomore with an undeclared major, also expressed her low faith in UMD’s COVID-19 response.
“The school is giving us the option to come back and return to campus after Thanksgiving, which means that that is like giving the virus more ability to spread and bring it back into the campus,” Weinreb said.
She also said she thinks off-campus facilities including bars and restaurants should enforce guidelines and safety measures to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
“A big way that we can improve with the number of cases that are growing is to enforce CDC guidelines and just more safety measures at off-campus spots and places because that is mainly where a lot of the students have been congregating and hanging out,” Weinreb said.
“Making sure that when students enter buildings or apartment buildings that they’re wearing their masks around security people enforce that because I know I’ve seen people in Landmark without masks… just simple things to help with the numbers.”