Better in Blue: COVID-19 status change yields lifted restrictions

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Since the week of Feb. 28, there have been no new positive COVID-19 cases reported on campus. In the most recent email from DePauw’s COVID-19 Mitigation Team sent on March 9, our campus status has moved from Yellow to Blue. 

The COVID-19 status shift allows many events and meetings to continue in person. In-door masking is now optional for most locations but remains required in classes and healthcare settings. Students and employees can choose to meet either in-person or virtually depending on their needs. While fitness classes and activities in the Welch Center will no longer have participants' limits, masking is still required, according to the email.

Many students think the change from Yellow to Blue brings a positive sign that our campus is transitioning to a COVID-free period. Freshman Abigail Fathauer said, “I’m excited because I’m hoping that this means that we can put COVID behind us as a campus, or at least it would be less prevalent.” Fathauer is optimistic about the declining trend of COVID-19 status on campus, and she is looking forward to seeing more activities and events hosted in the near future. “I think it's a huge relief,” first-year Jade Karas said. “It seems that things are slowly getting back to normal and I know seeing the status change has been a huge boost for my mental health.” 

While the student body celebrates the shift in our COVID-19 status, the email reaffirms that the booster shot requirement still needs to be applied to further reduce the spread of the Omicron variant. Limits on social events are removed but the COVID-19 Mitigation Team advises students to stay cautious and make informed decisions. Scheduled asymptomatic testing for students, faculty, and staff will continue to be available until the end of the spring semester. 

Many international students have worried about the lack of access to medical care such as booster shots, ambulances, and social distancing as COVID-19 cases rose on campus at the start of the spring semester. First-year student and The DePauw Daily Editor Truc Nguyen said, “I was very worried when I first got back on campus, but now I feel safer than ever. The shift from Yellow to Blue means that our mitigation measures are working. I believe that soon our campus can be back to normal.”