Wright State students with masks | Photo by Diana Jaber | The Wright State Guardian
New coronavirus variants, including the easily spreadable Delta variant, have caused a spike in case numbers. Despite this, Wright State University (WSU) is continuing with current plans for the fall semester.
The delta variant of the coronavirus was discovered in December 2020. The last several months of research on the coronavirus variants have led scientists to determine that the Delta variant is highly transmittable and the only variant to date that is transmittable by vaccinated persons.
“By the end of July, Delta was the cause of more than 80% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases,” Yale Medicine writer Kathy Katella wrote in a recent article.
According to USAFacts, the state of Ohio has been averaging over 2,700 cases a day for over a week. In addition, Greene and Montgomery counties combined are averaging over 200 cases per week.
“In the United States, there were 119,714 newly reported COVID-19 cases and 803 newly reported COVID-19 deaths on Aug. 19, 2021,” a representative of USAFacts wrote in a daily coronavirus case tracker update on Aug. 20.
The rise of cases has led many to question how businesses and schools should move forward with operations.
WSU’s Plan for Fall
On Aug. 4, WSU announced masks would be required for all individuals when indoors on campus beginning the following day, regardless of vaccination status.
“Wright State strongly encourages all faculty, staff and students to get a COVID-19 vaccine,” WSU Communications said in the email update. “When combined with masking, the vaccine remains the most effective tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
More recently, the WSU Faculty Union requested that the university move more classes from face-to-face to online. The Union also requested that the university mandate vaccines for students and faculty to be on campus, something that state legislation forbids with the current coronavirus vaccines as they are approved on an emergency basis.
“The Ohio Senate had already passed a bill that said Ohioans could not be forced by employers or schools to take COVID-19 vaccinations,” Statehouse News Bureau writer Jo Ingles wrote in an analysis of current coronavirus vaccine legislation in Ohio.
At the time of writing, the university has not made any changes to the plans for fall semester.
The university was contacted for comment, but no response has been provided at this time.