Salisbury University reports ten COVID-19 cases, urges everyone to “protect the flock”
SALISBURY, Md. – Salisbury University officials announced on Thursday that ten people have tested positive for COVID-19 since they began testing last week. The good news is their positivity rate is less than one percent.
“A lot of universities have had to pivot and send students home. I don’t want to do that,” says Salisbury University President Dr. Charles Wight.
Once again, Salisbury University is welcoming students and staff back on campus with move-in set to begin on Monday. Officials report that they’ve already tested more than 2-thousand for COVID-19. “We’ve had a handful of positive tests but our positivity rate is less than one percent right now which is a good place to be,” says Wight.
According to the World Health Organization, institutions should stay below a five percent positivty rate and if the campus poses a health risk the county’s health department has the legal authority to shut them down. However, SU’s President is confident their procedures will help prevent that. “We get the results back in just under 48 hours and then we have a team, the few cases that come back positive get the priority and we go right to work on those by calling and contacting people,” says Wight.
Additionally, Peninsula Regional Medical Center is less than a mile from campus and they also feel prepared to handle any situation that may arise. “If somebody does get it, hospitals and especially us. We are very well equipped to manage it. So much so that the National Institute of health came and spoke to us about exactly what we are doing because our outcomes have been recognized nationally,” says Steve Leonard, the President and CEO of Peninsula Regional Health System.
SU says if any students or staff don’t abide by campus health guidelines, those cases will be handled by the Dean of Students or Human Resources. “I’m counting on our students to be aware of what’s going on and to be vigilant in doing the right things: the mask wearing, the physical distancing, the hygiene, and the no parties,” says Wight.
47 ABC also asked Wight if the pandemic has impacted enrollment numbers. He says last year they had about 85-hundred students enrolled and it was a record year but right now they are down by about seven percent.
Thursday’s briefing at Salisbury University comes after 16 positive COVID-19 cases were identified on Monday at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. SU plans to hold these briefings every week and they are streamed online in the same spot where they share their testing data: Salisbury.edu/coronavirus.