Bluejays curious about Elmhurst University’s current COVID-19 protocols have found locat- ing proper resources difficult during this cold and flu season. Visiting the Wellness Center website’s section on COVID-19 information yields little current information, as it has not been updated since the spring semester.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new COVID-19 vaccine, updated to protect against new Omicron variants, at the beginning of September.
This new COVID-19 vaccine will be the only one available to the public this fall — and it comes right in time, as the Centers for Dis- ease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an overall rise in virus-related hospitalizations over the past month.
With a long winter ahead of us, the CDC rec- ommends vaccinating against COVID-19, the flu, and RSV — and reminds everyone that there is no concern about getting all three vaccines at once. However, officials do recommend that anyone who has recently contracted COVID-19 wait at least three months after their initial
infection to go in for the next dosage.
Additionally, households can once again or- der up to four free at-home COVID-19 tests through the government’s recently relaunched program. The program was suspended back in May with the end of the public health emergency, but now, as hospitalizations are on the rise, they have relaunched the initiative.
In the wake of this slight resurgence, EU’s current Wellness Center website is leaving students confused. EU’s online resources offer multiple hyperlinks to expired or taken down pages.
“When I checked [the website] when I had COVID-19, I saw that they took down most of the information pages. Honestly, I was a bit taken aback,” said Alexa Lopez, a junior who tested positive for COVID-19 this semester.
“Although COVID-19 isn’t as serious as it was in 2020, it’s not completely gone, and I feel like there needs to be resources on campus to reflect that. I think that the school should have more information in place for the students who test positive, or even those who want more current information,” Lopez continued.
Phillip Riordan, vice president of student affairs and co-chair of EU’s COVID-19 task
force, provided a bit of clarity.
“Currently, we are following the same guidelines established by the CDC. If you have COVID-19, stay home until you are symptom-free for 24 hours and wear a mask for another five days after your return,” Riordan explained.
As part of these guidelines, EU students are no longer required to self-report if they test posi- tive for the virus, and as such, EU has stopped collecting data on the number of positive cases on campus.
Students looking for further resources are di- rected to the Wellness Center, which currently provides rapid COVID-19 tests for anyone who needs one and soon will also begin providing flu and COVID-19 vaccines.
For students looking to navigate the upcoming winter season, Riordan has advice: “Get your flu shot. Stay home if you are sick, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask if you have flu or COVID-19-like symptoms.”