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The Student’s weekly check-in with Christine Johnston

Garrett Cote

As students, faculty and staff return from the much-needed long Easter and Passover weekend, COVID-19 protocols are prominent in the minds of the Springfield College community. 

Each residence hall parking lot was as close to empty as it gets this past weekend, signifying that a strong majority of students took the trip back home to celebrate the holidays.  

Considering there was no spring break and considering students have been working diligently both in the classroom and following coronavirus guidelines, it was expected that many students would do so, according to Christine Johnston. 

“We knew that students really needed this break,” Johnston began. “Without spring break this year, this was the only long weekend we had. We recognize that a lot of students went home, because mentally and physically they just needed the break. What students did when they went home will tell what the next five weeks are going to look like.”

If students went home to enjoy the holiday weekend safely with their parents and relatives – who may already have the vaccination – Johnston does not see a reason for concern. The distress is only notable if students were out with friends from other institutions, not wearing masks in large gatherings, and/or doing other activities while loosely following protocol. 

“If students went home to see their friends from high school and went out to bars and restaurants, we could definitely see another uptick in cases late this week and early into next week. We just hope that if a student gets a call from a friend or family member and says they tested positive or were a close contact, that student will take the necessary precautions and self-identify so we can help them get tested and go through the process now before they test positive and potentially spread COVID on campus,” Johnston said. 

Currently, the positive COVID-19 tests are down to a dozen, which is great news as that number was tripled just the week prior. On top of that, only 11 percent of supported quarantine housing is occupied.

It was anticipated and envisioned that a lot of the Springfield College community would take this three-day weekend and use it as a short vacation. With everyone, by now, back on Alden Street with refreshed spirits, minds and bodies, only time will tell just how careful and cautious people were back in their hometowns.

Photo: Springfield College

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