By: Phil Rauch, Aquinas Managing Editor

SCRANTON – The University of Scranton, since the COVID-19 breakout in March, has been sending school-wide emails regarding updates on policy, testing results, positivity rate, students who are in quarantine versus isolation, and responses to the pandemic.

1. Students who pursue testing from another provider other than the University are not automatically shared with the University. If you received a positive result from a third party test, you must immediately share it with Student Health Services.

If students who get outside testing do not share their positive results with the University, the positive case numbers could be misrepresented, undercounted, and misleading.

2. The weekly positivity rate in the University’s second week of testing increased from 2.5% to 3.37%. The average two week positivity rating is 2.95%.

Though still waiting for 12 tests to come back, an increase in positivity is cause for concern. There are a total of 64 student cases on campus and one employee. 260 students are quarantining and 78 are in isolation. Quarantine lasts 14 days and isolation lasts 10.

3. The University has initiated a call center for parents who request information about their child in quarantine or isolation. The number to reach them is 570-941-4622. They’re taking calls from 8:30am to 7pm weekdays and Saturdays from 9am to 12pm.

While parents cannot visit their child, it is helpful to know where they are, what they’re doing, how they’re being fed, etc. This a useful resource of which parents can take advantage.

4. The Federal Communications Commission has issued a warning regarding fake contact tracing calls.

There have been a slew of fake contact tracing calls occurring throughout the United States. These fake contact tracers have been asking people for their credit card numbers, social security numbers, or insurance and bank account information. Please note that the University or the Pennsylvania Department of Health will never ask for this personal information. If you are asked for it, do not divulge any of that information.

5. The Royal Happenings Newsletter has been providing information, counseling, and wellness classes to people struggling with uncertainty during the pandemic.

Some of these resources are directed toward freshmen students who are struggling with meeting people given that many social gatherings are prohibited. For further resources, consult the Newsletter.

These are some important tidbits that may have “fallen beneath the cracks” in the regular Health and Safety updates. Continue to read the updates for any further information we may have missed.