What will happen after students return to campus?

Sickness in Tallahassee has taken a toll on education. Photo courtesy: Hobby photographer, Dimitri Karastelev

Tallahassee residents are skeptical about how campus instruction will continue after Thanksgiving break.

Just days after returning back to campus following homecoming week, the FAMU Educational Research Center for Child Development (ERCCD), announced in an email that the center anticipates being closed for 14 days, due to the “spread of illness.”

The statement issued by director, Kenedria S. Thurman, mentioned the severity of the health statuses and their plans to continue being transparent moving forward.

“High numbers of children experiencing cold-like symptoms, several flu diagnosis, and three (one adult and two children) testing positive for COVID-19 this morning,” Thurman said in an email.

On Nov. 5, there were 102 positive flu cases reported at Florida A&M University, according to FAMU Director of Health Services, Tanya Tatum.

Kimberly Black, lead advisor at FAMU, told staff that she is unaware of any statements being made for the rest of the campus.

“If there is a need for communication to go forward, the university will do what is in the best interest of all stakeholders as it always has,” Black said.

Although with students currently applying for Spring 2022 classes, seeing that majority of the courses are in-person, raises concerns that the university officials are not taking the health of students and staff members seriously.

A student who wishes to remain anonymous explained an incident that took place in class earlier this week.

“After homecoming, you would think professors would be making masks required and social distancing mandatory,” the source said. “In reality, it seems like no one cares. One of my professors made a sick student stay in class because she said he needed to present his project.”

Another student reflected on the numerous absences he witnessed on campus.

“We only have about four weeks left, we should absolutely go back online to prevent an even bigger outbreak,” said Christian Blue, a biology scholar at FAMU.

The rapid increase of influenza cases in Tallahassee has many worried, but trust that the proper decisions will be made by officials.

“During a pandemic, we have to make sacrifices for the sake of our safety,” said Nyla Sams, member of the Student Government Association. “If it is necessary for us to do virtual classes for two weeks after we return, then the student body should understand the necessity.”

All Leon County schools and universities have been fully cooperating this year when it comes to notifying students about new safety protocols and resources on campus. Students and parents can look forward to emails concerning procedures for after Thanksgiving break.