As of Oct. 26, Utah has reported a total of 104,882 COVID-19 cases, according to the Utah government’s website.

Due to Covid-19 the main ogden campus has been much emptier than past semesters. (Emily Crooks / The Signpost)
Due to Covid-19 the main ogden campus has been much emptier than past semesters. (Emily Crooks / The Signpost) Photo credit: Signpost Archives

Davis, Morgan and Weber counties, where most Weber State University students reside, moved to a high transmission level recently.

The official website for Weber-Morgan reports 6,526 positive cases. WSU has another campus located in Davis county, and according to the county’s website, there are 8,067 positive cases.

In an executive order on March 16, Gov. Gary Herbert declared a statewide public health emergency. Weber State University has followed the protocols established by the Utah Health Department and the Weber-Morgan Health Department, such as travel restrictions, events under 50 people, face-coverings and social distancing.

Hannah Holtry Brooks, a Master of English student and adjunct faculty, explained that her husband has Type 1 diabetes. Therefore, they have had to be extremely cautious to avoid getting the virus.

“I haven’t felt at all concerned with attending class either as a student or a teacher. I feel that the precautions that Weber has taken have been more than adequate to protect my students and me,” Brooks said.

Brooks teaches English 2010. She was teaching her first semester in March when the pandemic hit and classes were moved online.

Brooks expressed that she feels the flexibility for both her and her students to attend and teach online has made her feel like she has the ability to be safe and succeed in her classwork.

“I feel like I’m coping well, overall, with the pandemic. Like everyone else, I’m fearful at times and frustrated with the situation and the things that we need to do to stay safe. But, overall, I feel well physically, mentally, and emotionally,” Brooks said.

During these last seven days, 31 students tested positive for COVID-19, totaling 181 positive cases since Jan. 1.

Abbas Alrufaye, an international Master of English student and adjunct faculty, expressed that even though the university is doing an excellent job protecting students and faculty, he is not sure if he feels safe taking in-person classes.

Hybrid classes, which have the option to attend face-to-face or on Zoom, have seen a decrease of in-person attendance. Students are opting to participate in classes via Zoom.

WSU will continue with the flexible course delivery methods for spring 2021.

University Police Lieutenant Mike Davies expressed that “the precautions taken by the university have helped a great deal.”

He explained that most of the COVID-19 cases at the university have been from being exposed off-campus.

Davies said that there has been very little evidence of transmission occurring on campus and that it has been thanks to the university’s mitigation strategies.

Weber-Morgan’s site has a breakdown of lab-confirmed positive cases by age. The age group from 15 to 24 has 1,847 confirmed cases and the 25 to 44 age group has had 2,310 confirmed cases.

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