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Editorial: VSU isn’t giving us enough information on COVID-19 numbers

On Friday Aug. 28, Valdosta State University finally began posting their numbers for COVID-19 cases among students and faculty.

As of Sept. 4, there have been 27 new positive cases, bringing the total number of active cases in a 10-day period to 47.

VSU has done a great job coming up with a way to update students about active cases of COVID-19 on campus. However, the amount of information given seems a little underwhelming compared to other schools.

At the Georgia Institute of Technology, numbers of reported cases are updated daily. In addition, they also provide the date of the reported case, whether it was student or staff, the last date the person was on campus, and a description of how the case impacts campus.

For example, Georgia Tech posted the latest reported case as follows:

“The student lives in Greek Housing and is returning home to isolate or is isolating in Greek Housing with other affected individuals; all affected individuals are being notified as consistent with Georgia Department of Public Health.”

At the University of Georgia, they use graphs to report the number of tests done and the number of positive tests reported.

For the positive test numbers, they provide the role and location of the infected individual.

Compared to these schools, the amount of information VSU is giving its students is very limited.

To fix this problem, VSU should follow in the footsteps of not only those schools, but any school who provides in depth details of their current COVID-19 updates.

Daily reporting is a must-have. Students should be given frequent updates on how many cases there are so that they will not be left in the dark until each Friday.

In addition to giving daily updates, reports should also include more data on the last given location of each positive case. This could help students be conscious of places they should avoid.

VSU also needs to report how many tests are being given out so that students can have an idea of how many people could be infected.

Including all of this information would undoubtedly keep students informed on who has the virus, where they may have been on campus, and what they can do to keep themselves as safe as possible.

Also, the numbers that VSU has reported, so far, seem not to reflect the number of social events and parties that students have been to.

Given how contagious COVID-19 is, it seems unlikely that the number of cases is so low.

While they cannot monitor every single event that goes on or make everyone get tested, the numbers simply look too good to be true.

VSU should do a better job of encouraging students to self-report if they have symptoms or have been exposed, as many students may not even know that self-reporting is an option.

In order to help with this problem, they should send an e-mail, or multiple, if necessary, each week to remind students about self-reporting.

It is important to give props to VSU for finally taking the steps to inform students on the number of active cases on campus.

In the end, however, there is a lot more information that VSU can put out to truly keep students educated about how COVID-19 is currently impacting the campus and how they can keep themselves and others healthy, hopeful, and happy.

This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff and expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.

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