Campus fights wave of sickness


Sydney Jo Boaz

With the Norovirus outbreak on campus, the Baker cafeteria has taken precaution by individualizing meals and utensils in hope of avoiding further contamination among students.

With concerns of covid-19 increasing in the country, there are other illnesses that students at Baker University need to be aware of this season.

With a confirmed case of norovirus and rising concerns over influenza, there are several preventative measures students should know to prevent the spread of viruses.

Dean of Students, Cassy Bailey, believes the best thing to do about these viruses, is to prevent them from becoming widespread.

“If they [a student] has a fever, [they] should not go to class and they need to clean their area,” Bailey said.

Bailey also emphasized the importance of washing hands to prevent the spread of the viruses.

“That is really the one thing that’s going to help,” Bailey said.

Another key piece of advice to prevent the spread of infection Bailey said was to have bleach wipes read to disinfect doorknobs and light switches in areas an infected student may have come into contact with.

Kathy Wilson, academic support coordinator, also suggests students use bleach wipes often to limit the spread of germs and bacteria.

“The flu is a concern for everybody—we all know the standard practices of staying healthy. Carrying anti-bacterial wipes can be good to when you think about common use areas. All of the computers are common use, computer mouse, keyboards, doors and the back of chairs” Wilson said.

The janitorial staff is also keeping these practices in mind when they are cleaning common areas such as the Collins Library.

American Dining Services is also taking preventative measures by implementing disposable utensils, limiting the hand to food contact by individually wrapping food and limiting the number of common touch areas.

“I see our janitorial staff cleaning diligently down here [Student Academic Success office],” Wilson said. “I myself will sometimes use a disinfectant to clean the surfaces—it really is a team player effort to disinfect common areas.

Because illness tends to spread quickly at Baker University, the administrative staff emphasizes educating students about these viruses and how to prevent their spread through flyers and emails. These efforts also include ensuring a thorough cleaning of an infected students’ room to kill any remaining bacteria or germs.

Donovan Daniel, junior, thinks Baker University is doing a good job of preventing the spread of illness, but that students are the ones who need to do more.

“I think there are a lot of people who don’t wash their hands. I do and I even use hand sanitizer,” Daniel said.

Daniel also said that students need to be courteous when sneezing and coughing and that students need to cover their faces when they do.

However, even with preventative measures, students will still get sick.

“If you are sick seeking medical attention is important and staying hydrated is also important with the norovirus,” Bailey said.

Baily also said any student who is sick or believes they might be sick should not go to class.

If a student is ill and has a confirmed diagnosis, there are certain steps that student needs to take to manage their academics as well as limiting their contact with other students.

“For students with the flu it is considered a temporary illness and most students will recover before needing to engage in any official accommodation. Students need to work with their instructors,” Wilson said.

Wilson stated that Student Academic Success services such as tutoring, study groups and make-up exams are all things students and instructors can discuss if an illness has affected a student’s grade.

“Students should also be working with their academic advisor to understand their options regarding their schedule and be mindful of the registrar’s deadlines for dropping a class,” Wilson said.

In addition to working with their instructors, students should also have an official diagnosis sent to Bailey so the administrative staff can understand what is going on and what measures they need to take.