Trinity Updates COVID-19 Protocol Under CDC Rules

Rajsi Rana ’26

News Editor

It has been four years since the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. The pandemic, and the policies following it, have caused much controversy across the world. Trinity has recently changed its COVID-19 policy, reflecting the ever-changing nature of the pandemic. On March 11, Trinity Health Center’s Clinical Lead and Lead Contact Tracer Kara Anastasiou, MSN, ANP, BC, APRN sent out an email with information regarding Trinity’s updated policies. This email listed the key COVID-19 updates on campus.

These new updates follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. The CDC’s advisory for COVID-19 now aligns with the advisory for other respiratory diseases, such as Influenza and Respiratory Syncytia Virus (RSV). The advice for such diseases includes staying home while sick.

However, the guidelines no longer include staying isolated and quarantining. The CDC states that normal activities can be resumed safely after 24 hours of symptom improvement and being fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication, rather than quarantining for any amount of time. People around the country have pushed back against this announcement from the CDC, citing dangers such as long COVID.

One drastic change on Trinity’s campus is that there will no longer be illness reports sent out for COVID-19, as they don’t send out such reports for other respiratory viruses. These reports have been sent out in the past during periods of surging COVID-19 cases on campus, and have included the numbers of community members who have tested positive, specifying students and staff.

These updates are a change from Trinity’s previous COVID-19 policies. Trinity’s first policies were stated in June of 2021, and have been updated several times in the past few years. Anastasiou maintains that Trinity will proceed in a safe manner regarding the COVID-19 virus. “The CDC updated its guidelines in accordance with the current supporting evidence. [Trinity] will continue to promote infection mitigation and strong preventative measures, especially hand-hygiene, vaccination and masking, in accordance with the guidelines.” Trinity currently has signs up around campus, reiterating the importance of such hygienic measures.

In addition to the general safety of the Trinity College community, Anastasiou describes the psychological toll the pandemic has taken on college students. “While the pandemic has turned endemic as a respiratory virus, there continues to be documented evidence of its negative effects on college-aged individuals’ psychological well-being. Therefore, this is an opportunity to explore and improve individual and community-level wellness in its multiple dimensions. One way that Trinity is responding to this need is with Fresh Check Day, an annual mental health awareness event with a focus on promoting mental health and preventing suicide.”

Trinity maintains its previous policy regarding communication of any illness with professors and faculty, ensuring clear and frequent communication to allow for the Trinity community to stay healthy. Trinity will continue to send out illness reports for severe illness and injury of campus members.

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  1. 1
    David W. GReen

    It is deeply regrettable that the Trinity College administration has revised its COVID protocols on the basis of the guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control. The decisions of the CDC are widely recognized by COVID experts to be driven primarily by political pressures exerted by corporate interests and the right-wing anti-science mob.

    I am involved in the publication of the World Socialist Web Site, which has posted several thousand articles on the pandemic since January 2020. It recently posted a detailed exposure of the CDC’s guidelines, which stated”

    “Every aspect of the new guidelines goes against the well-known scientific truths about COVID-19: Without testing, patients cannot determine by themselves whether or not they are infectious; a large percentage of COVID-19 transmission is through asymptomatic patients; fever is only one of over a dozen COVID-19 symptoms; upwards of 20-40 percent of COVID-19 patients are still infectious after five days, with some more than a week.

    “The guidelines are in direct contrast to the basic principles of public health, which aim to limit the spread of all pathogens and minimize the morbidity and mortality burden suffered by society. Corporate profit considerations, not those of the well-being of the public, determined the CDC’s revision of its guidelines. Instead of advocating an expansion of paid sick leave for all workers, mass testing, contact tracing, and other basic public health measures for COVID-19, influenza and RSV, the CDC has reduced to the bare minimum its isolation recommendation for all respiratory viruses, while no longer encouraging testing whatsoever for COVID-19.

    “Denouncing the CDC guidelines change, Dr. Lucky Tran, a science communicator at Columbia University, told Forbes, ‘The changes in the CDC guidelines are really a result of political and corporate pressure. It’s a dangerous change that goes against the science, encourages disease spread, and prioritizes corporate interests, making it easier to exploit workers.’ …

    “Covid remains a dangerous disease. In the first week of February 2024, close to 1,600 people died of COVID-19 in the United States. Since August 26, 2023, i.e., for 24 consecutive weeks or nearly half the calendar year, the official weekly death toll in the US has remained over 1,000. While 5,748 Americans died from the flu in 2023, more than 77,000 perished from COVID-19.

    “Thousands of scientific studies have shown that COVID-19 is capable of damaging virtually every organ in the body, including the heart, lungs, kidneys and brain, at far higher rates than the flu or other respiratory viruses. Over 20 million Americans of all ages are now suffering from Long COVID, in addition to hundreds of millions more globally.”

    The entire article can be accessed at https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2024/03/04/drxv-m04.html

    I urge students to consult serious medical journals, which substantiate the points that I have cited from the WSWS article.

    On the basis of scientific fact, Trinity students and faculty should demand that the new protocols be rescinded, and that appropriate measures be taken to ensure the health and safety of the college community.

    David W. Green ’71

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