LRU announces new safety precautions

By Madeline Riccardi, Editor-in-Chief

La Roche University announced its new safety regulations and precautions for the spring 2022 semester.

In early Jan., the Chief Pandemic Officer released the new protocols for keeping the La Roche campus a safe and healthy environment during the rise in covid-19 cases in Allegheny County.

Rosemary McCarthy, Ph.D., RN, began her statement as Chief Pandemic Officer by addressing recent CDC guidelines.

“Recently, the CDC adjusted its guidelines and reduced quarantine time for fully vaccinated and boosted individuals who show no symptoms but have been exposed to covid-19,” she said.

“According to CDC guidelines,” the Associate Provost and Academic Dean continued, “a person who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of covid-19 does not need to quarantine if they have been exposed to someone with covid.”

She went on to list three four specific guidelines for the campus.

The first guideline discussed mask policies.

“Wear a mask indoors in public for 10 days following exposure or until a negative test result,” she said. “La Roche’s mask policies cover this requirement.”

The University has required everyone to wear masks while inside any campus building since spring 2020.

The second guideline mentioned how it was important to immediately isolate and get tested after experiencing any covid-19 symptoms, while the third guideline discussed vaccinations.

“Individuals who are not fully vaccinated and have had close contact with someone with covid-19 still should quarantine for 10 days after their last exposure to that person,” the Chief Pandemic Safety Officer said. “Individuals who need to isolate will be asked to do so either at home, per current La Roche policy, or in dedicated University space, depending on their circumstances.”

The final main guideline discussed positive test results and when you can return to campus.

“For those who test positive, you must isolate for five days or until your symptoms resolve. You must be free of a fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication,” she said.

“After that time,” McCarthy continued, “you may return to campus wearing a mask at all times for the next five days.  Please do not eat in the cafeteria or drink in public during these five days.”

Although not required, the University recommends using the N95 or KN95 masks that the CDC recommends.

For any resident students who are not vaccinated, surveillance testing will be mandatory.

Finally, McCarthy said that the University strongly recommends students to get their booster shots. “The CDC has indicated boosters may soon be required to meet the definition of ‘fully vaccinated,’ so the University may require them per CDC guidance during the spring semester for resident students,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy ended the statement with a reminder that the University will follow all CDC guidelines this semester.

“La Roche continues to follow Allegheny County Health Department and CDC guidance and will keep the campus community informed of all relevant updates,” she said.

All safety measures follow the suggested guidelines from authorities, according to McCarthy, including “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Allegheny County Health Department.”

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