Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Student health center prepares for flu season amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Flu season is just around the corner and university preparation is crucial to stop an outbreak. The university has plans and events during the fall to make sure everyone can stay as healthy as possible.

Covid’s peak was in 2020, but that does not mean it disappeared. A recent spike in cases on campus caused students to quarantine the first week of school. 

The campus COVID-19 dashboard, which reports the number of cases throughout the year, is no longer being updated. Vaccination is also no longer required to attend classes in person.  

Eris, also known as EG.5, is the newest Covid-19 variant. According to a Yale Medicine Article from September 2023, “it is not much different than the other strains. Just like other Omnicon strains, Eris tends to infect the upper respiratory tract, causing a runny nose, sore throat, and other cold-like symptoms.”  

Marshall Benton, a freshman musical theater major, shared his experience of having Covid-19 during the first few weeks of the semester. Benton said he experienced “a runny nose, sore throat, and cramping muscles.” 

Benton said he was told to stay in his room and that food was to his dorm. Benton explained that he’d improve the school’s quarantine through better food service. 

“The main issue in quarantine was that I never received the meals I signed up for; I was only brought one meal a day,” Benton said. 

On the other hand, Nicholas Buono, a freshman cinema production major, had a positive experience. He did not have any issues with quarantine.  

Director of Student HealthRebecca Harper explained that she works with Student Life as fast as possible to get everything handled for each quarantined student. One key factor in minimizing the spread and preventing an outbreak is communication.

“Communicate with Student Life; the big issue they ran into was people did not let them know they had Covid,” Harper said. “ Sometimes it also takes getting back into the swing of things to get on track, so they had a few small hiccups with the food unfortunately.” 

Harper said the rise in cases is normal. 

“We are on par from last year,” Harper said. “Most schools follow the trend of cases rising the first two weeks of school, then it declines as we go more into the school year.” 

She said that, even with the new strain in the past 8 months, she has seen students affected by the cold and flu much sicker.  This is partially due to the high covid vaccination rate at the school.  

With the cold and flu season approaching, Harper says if a student feels symptoms, they should visit the Student Health Center. 

“Any symptoms please test them; it is better to know than not know,” Harper said. “If you feel sick, distance yourself or even wear a mask. Wash your hands, get good nutrients and get enough sleep.”

Nurse Harper has free Covid-19 tests in the Student Health Center. There was also a flu vaccine clinic on October 12. Free flu shots are available at CVS and Rite Aid with insurance. Harper said she is always looking to create more events on campus to have a safe and healthy flu season.

For more information about school events, you can visit Instagram @healthyuatppu for events like flu vaccinations, handwashing seminars, etc. The Student Health Center is located on the third floor of the Student Center. For more information on Covid-19, go to cdc.gov. 

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